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Month: December 2008

Christmas Miracles

Christmas Miracles

We are all set to leave tomorrow for our Christmas vacation. First to Arkansas to spend Christmas Eve and Day and then on to Minnesota for a week of snowy cold. I had bought the gifts, washed the clothes and today was reserved for packing and finishing up a few last details.

That is, until I realized that the one gift Jacob REALLY wanted (and that his sister was getting too), I had misplaced. I had been so diligent about putting the gifts in the garage, covering them so as to not get caught and thought I was really doing well. But when I went to pack them up, I couldn’t find Jacob’s Nintendo DS anywhere. I mean ANYWHERE.

I searched the garage (multiple times), closets, under the bed…you name it. And I could not imagine why I hadn’t put it in the garage. I tore my house apart. When it became apparent that I wasn’t going to find it I headed out to run a few last errands and to see if maybe…just maybe….there would be one last black DS on a shelf somewhere.

Walmart…nope. Best Buy…none. Target, Sears…all out. I prayed during all this knowing that God has pulled off some much bigger miracles at Christmas than finding a DS, and hoping this would make the list of Christmas miracles 2008.

We were meeting some friends for dinner followed by our annual Christmas pageant with all 10 of our kids. Sometime during the meal, I forgot about all the stress of the day, the maniac searching, the pit in my stomach thinking about Jacob’s disappointment and began to enjoy our friends, our children and especially their rendition of the nativity story. The story which, of course, is the miracle of all Christmas miracles.

When we got home, I resolved that I’d stay up all night if need be…I was determined to find that gift. As I was putting the girls to bed I mentioned to Brittany that I didn’t know where she had put her favorite Christmas sweatshirt. She immediately began to pray…”Dear Lord, please help my mom find my sweatshirt. Amen.”

I walked into the den and immediately saw it….after not seeing it all day. I called out to Brittany…”God answers prayer!” “Found my sweatshirt?!?” “I sure did.”

And then Bill walked in. First words out of his mouth….”God answers prayer.” In his hands he held the little white bag containing that one gift that I had searched so hard for. “Found it?!” “I sure did.”

The little bag had fallen from it’s place in the garage into the tub of leftover Christmas lights. It was an answer to prayer. It was a relief.

It was my Christmas miracle.

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Weird-O

Weird-O

Today my oldest daughter dead panned to me that “I’m the weirdest person she knows.” Now I know most middle schoolers may think their parents are at least a little bit weird so maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. But her “announcement” followed my trying to convince her to carry a Christmas lunch sack (green with red mittens all over it) as opposed to the normal brown lunch bags she usually takes.

Since I was completely out of the brown sacks, I gave her 2 choices….a leftover Wendy’s sack or the Christmas cutesie one. Her reaction made me laugh,..like REALLY laugh, which brought on the “weirdest person” comment.

Then after school we ran by Williams Sonoma. They had their peppermint bark samples out and I “sampled.” When I walked by a second time and the tray was being refilled, I decided to wait. Figured I’d assume the look of a first time sampler.

But no, Caroline threw me under the sampling bus. She said in a “put the gun down” tone of voice…”Mom, walk away.” “Mom, you’ve already had one.” I was totally busted. As we walked out the door she came clean that she had SEVEN samples. And she was worried about MY second trip through the sample line?!? They had to refill because of her!!!

We had a good laugh about that too. We commented about being “stuffed” after all the samples we ate! And we even made some other people smile with our hearty laughter.

Hanging out with a middle schooler is not always fun. But today it was. And I’m going to take my “weirdest person” award as quite an achievement. We had fun, we laughed…and I really think she meant weird in the nicest sense of the word.

What do you think?

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A few things I thought were funny….

A few things I thought were funny….

  • That when Caroline and I went to the nursing home on Saturday to play Bingo they assigned us to the “memory loss” room. What was even funnier…. when the nurses couldn’t remember where they put the Bingo game. It took everything I had not to say…”do you think it’s contagious?”
  • That Caroline recorded Bill’s voice saying “Hey kid, it’s me” as my ringtone when Bill calls. I forgot she did that. When Bill called and my phone started saying “Hey kid, it’s me”, I talked back to it. SEVERAL times. Each time my phone said “Hey kid, it’s me”, I said “HEY!” and then “Somehow you got on speaker phone” and then “CAN’T YOU HEAR ME?” all before I realized I wasn’t talking to him. What was even funnier was when I got to a spa soon after for a massage. I locked my purse in the locker. As I was walking out in my robe towards the massage I hear Bill’s voice….”Hey kid It’s ME!” All the women in the locker room hear a mans voice…coming from my locker. They were all looking shocked. I kept trying to explain but it was all wrong. Saying things like “I’m so sorry…it’s my husband.” “Bill, be quiet”, etc. as I frantically tried to get back into my locker. The other spa ladies were looking at me like I had shrunk down my husband and locked him in my locker…either that or like I had 2 heads. It was hilarious. Took me a while to relax before my massage!
  • That today when I told Brittany it was minus 35 degrees “wind chill” in Minnesota she said “It’s minus 35 degrees on the wind SHIELD!?!?”
  • That last Spring when I went to Jacob’s Awards Assembly at his preschool I was so excited to see what he had excelled out. They went through all the kids in his class. It went just like this…”Harris….cutest smile”, “Charlie…..future President”, “Addison….best reader”… and then with all my expectation building….what would they say?!?…how had Jacob distinguished himself?!?…..My pride and joy, my first born son. They called his name.”Jacob Baerg…. class clown.”
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Party Cancellation

Party Cancellation

Jacob and Bill were playing basketball in the driveway yesterday…their new favorite thing to do. Bill told Jacob he wished that he could stay 5 forever. They played a little more and then Jacob, ever the pleaser, said, “Daddy, it’s ok if you cancel my 6 year old party. I’ll just wait until you’re ready and then we can have it.” (Never mind that his birthday is still 7 months away!)

I guess in his mind you’re not 6 until people sing “Happy Birthday” and blow out some candles.

I wish it were that easy to keep them little longer!!!

Hey, if that’s all it took I’d still be 30!!

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Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

We put up our Christmas Tree tonight. It’s been a work in progress. We bought it last Sunday in between lunch after church and a 2:00 party. We had it picked out, paid for and strapped on the car in 15 minutes flat. (Not quite sure that “hurry up” was part of the Christmas memory we wanted to create, but that was literally all the time we had).

Monday night Bill strung the lights, Tuesday Brittany performed in the 4th grade Nutcracker (she was a dancing flower and her song ended with her flip flopping into the splits), Wednesday was choir rehearsal for the childrens program, Thursday was a friends birthday party and Friday was the Sunday School Christmas Party. So FINALLY tonight, we put ornaments on the tree.

Funny thing is, I’ve enjoyed it with just the lights. Jacob has “crafted” a few ornaments here and there (he is currently very into arts and crafts). I tried to convince the crew that we should only do homemade ornaments…you know, some popcorn and cranberry strings, aluminum foil star….but no one really jumped at my “Little House on the Prairie” ideas.

Once we started pulling all the old favorites out though, it was fun to hear…”I remember THIS one”… over and over again. We have an Abraham Lincoln ornament that, when we turn the lights on the tree, plays “My Country Tis of Thee”. Every time. I’m starting to wonder if the kids think it’s a Christmas carol. In fact, every time I’ve turned on the tree this week I’ve expected to hear it play. It’s just a part of our Christmas and it’s fun.

Then we read the Advent story. We’re only 13 days behind on that. I’m not worried. We’ll catch up.

Tonights story was about how the star was guiding the Shepherds to the manger. Isn’t that interesting how the star shone A light to THE light of the world?

Shepherds followed the star to Jesus and He has been offering to lead the way ever since.

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SNOW DAY!

SNOW DAY!

Well, this is something you don’t hear very often in Houston….it’s snowing!!!! It started about 3:00 this afternoon and it is still going. The kids were absolutely giddy. They jumped on a snow covered trampoline and Jacob kept yelling “This is a great Christmas Eve!!” Never mind that Christmas Eve is still a couple of weeks away.

After almost 2 weeks of missed school during Hurricane Ike, I can’t believe I’m secretly hoping for a snow day from school tomorrow, but I am! It’s sure to all be gone by 10:00 AM, but what fun it would be to say we had a snow day here. Besides, I have one of those crazy busy days tomorrow that literally goes from early in the morning until late at night.

And during the hurricane all those calendar “to dos” we thought were so important were cancelled and most of them were never missed.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

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Heavenly Peace…

Heavenly Peace…

It’s hard being a “blogger” in December. I really don’t feel like I have much time to think, let alone write! I just posted my facebook status as “Darla is considering buying reindeer antlers for her car and singing ‘Run Run Reindeer’ as she crazily drives around town trying to get everything done!” I’m serious.

“Run, Run Reindeer” was the song Savannah’s jazz class danced to tonight and I really thought….I totally feel like the reindeer. There are days I am double and triple booked for things I’d like to do, places I’d like to go….all in the spirit of the season where we sing carols with lines such as “all is CALM”!

Don’t get me wrong….I’ve enjoyed the events, the friends, the food, the fun. It’s just that there are days I wish I could push the pause button on it all. I’d like to pause to enjoy all that the season represents, pause to enjoy the wonder of the children, pause to worship the newborn King.

Christmas is about more than just getting through it. It’s about celebrating the reason for it.

Let the celebration of our Saviour’s birth continue…but for now, I’m going to try to go “sleep in Heavenly Peace”.

And tomorrow I’m going to try to remember, every now and then, to pause.

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Good advice…

Good advice…

My mom sent me this email which had some good advice. Thought I’d pass it on…

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Talk to God about what is going on in your life. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, ‘My purpose is to __________ today. I am thankful for______________’

4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants/factories.

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon,broccoli , almonds &walnuts.

6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

7. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

9. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

11. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

12. You are not so important that you have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

13. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.

14. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years, will this matter?’

17. Forgive everyone for everything.

18. What other people think of you is none of your business.

19. GOD heals everything – but you have to ask Him.

20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

21. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch!!!

22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.

24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

25. When you are feeling down, start listing your many blessings. You’ll be smiling before you know it.

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Violin Lessons

Violin Lessons

I’ve decided that Thursdays from 6:15-6:45 are one of my most favorite times of the week. During those 30 minutes, I take Savannah to her violin lesson and I just sit. I sit and listen to her play with her teacher who sometimes accompanies her on the piano and sometimes with his own violin. She sounds pretty good on her own, but pair her sound up with another instrument and it’s beautiful.

But the best part is, I just sit. I sit and enjoy watching her play. I sit and enjoy the pride on her face when she excels or the frustration when she doesn’t get it just right. And I sit. I listen to the music and nothing else. My cell phone is off, my other children are at home and truly during those 30 minutes, no one can reach me.

Earlier this week I spoke to a womens group about taking the time to treasure Christmas. And as I sat there tonight, I tried to take some of my own advice. To treasure not just Christmas time, but to treasure this time. Time to sit. Time to relax. Time to focus on just one child. Time to sit for 30 minutes and listen only to the lovely sound from a beautiful instrument.

We can’t stop time, but we can treasure it.

And I’m planning on trying to do more of just that!

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Pink Label Christmas

Pink Label Christmas

I know it is hard for my kids to believe, but when I grew up we listened to records, not CD’s or IPOD’s. We also didn’t have Christmas albums from tons of different entertainers and I only remember the radio stations playing 24 hours of Christmas music on Christmas Day, not from Thanksgiving until Christmas.

Maybe we had more, but I only remember one Christmas record. It had a hot pink label on it and I looked forward to hearing it every year. I listened to it over and over and can quote many of the things on it by memory.

I read recently where you can convert old records to CD’s so that’s going to be on my to do list one day….converting that record to a CD. But in the meantime, someone recorded my most favorite part of the album, added some pictures and put it on youtube. (love technology!)

When I found it, it was like a blast from the past. I remember listening to this one story over and over and feeling sad for Santa who never gets invited to Christmas and sad for the Christmas tree, but yet happy that the Christmas Tree found “Me Purpose.”

We all have a purpose, we just have to find it.

Take a look at this video….maybe this is will bring back some holiday memories for you as well. And good luck on finding your own “me purpose”.

 

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