Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Annual Make Fun of Each Other Night

We trimmed our tree last night. Don't usually do it this early, but the oldest was home from college and we decided to get 'er done. Haley's friends gave her the tree as her Christmas gift. It was amazingly sweet of them. They know that money is beyond tight for us this year.

The tree Phil and Clay picked out is lovely. They did a very good job. In the old days we all went to pick out the tree, but as the kids have gotten older, that has gotten harder to pull off. Now, we trust those who do go to pick out a good one.

The date of our Christmas tree trimming has also changed over the years. At one time we did it on December 1st, but then 19 years ago we added a baby on the 5th. We backed it up to December 6th because we learned while studying about Saint Nicholas that that was his day. But, at some point we let that go.

That's the thing about traditions. They are great if you don't let them control you or others around you. If your traditions are creating a lot of stress for you and/or your loved ones, then let them be tweaked enough to provide peace.

We do follow a pattern when decorating the tree, but that has changed a bit over the years. The lights go on first, of course. Then some of the decorations from our first tree go up. Among those are the chili pepper lights Phil and I bought in Durango twenty some-odd years ago. There are fabric hearts I sewed and stuffed and little red hearts. I guess our first tree had a heart theme.

The kids harass each other about proper placement of these first ornaments then the real fun begins. Each child elbows for their choice spot. Corinn insists that her 1994 picture bell ornament gets put front and center. The other kids move it when she isn't looking or put their ornaments in front of her's. And the most fun is had over Haley's "heart". I'm not sure what year it came into being, but it has been made fun of ever since.

This year Haley got to laughing over Aaron's nativity scene he drew at age 5. He gave everyone belly buttons.

The last thing to go on is the Angel. Phil and I looked in every Christmas store we could find before we found the perfect angel. She is beautiful. As Phil puts her on, one of the kids hits the lights.

Then we end with moose shaped chocolate dipped shortbread cookies and "shlog" or eggnog as most people know it. Phil reads the Christmas story out of the gospels. Clay had lots of questions this year.
On their best behavior.

Their true selves.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Deviled Eggs and Chocolate Pies

I survived three Thanksgiving celebrations...I think. And I got through it without putting any turkey or ham in my mouth. Neither are favorites.

I made four pecan pies for the get-togethers, but I was craving Lezlee's chocolate pies. And she didn't disappoint. I was absolutely giddy when she walked in with two 10-inch beauties.

And Judith's deviled eggs! Yes!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pancakes du jour

Chocolate Banana with a Touch of Cinnamon

Man, were they good! Apparently though, not bananaie enough for Aaron. He asked if I was going to put bananas in them as he ate his fourth one. The oldest daughter, home from college, hasn't weighed in on them yet. She's enjoying sleeping in. The youngest is at his grandmother's house, eating his way through all the fried food he can get. He has to get his fill there, 'cause he ain't getting it here.

Southwest Airlines Ticket Giveaway!

I tried and tried to post about this yesterday. It would never work. For some reason it wouldn't fit on the page, so today I am just going to point you to the site.

Click here to learn more about how you can win two round-trip tickets from Southwest Airlines.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sneaky Pete

Sneaky Pete fell last Friday breaking his nose, damaging his shoulder, and slamming his head. Apparently the wall took a blow too.

Years of therapy progress was gone in a flash. Last week I talked about how well he was doing with his right hand. That is absent for right now. His balance is shot so it isn't safe for him to walk unaccompanied. His brain won't tell his feet what to do which makes standing up from a seated position hard. He is used to being fairly independent as far as mobility goes. Now his parents have also lost some of the freedom they had gained over the last few years.

Everyone at Coventry is committed to him regaining what he has lost.

My heart hurts for him and his family. I love that guy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Some friends have released their new music video.


Getting Through Today

Psalm 37:23-24 NAS

"The steps of a man are established by the LORD;
And He delights in his way.
When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong;
Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Please Tell Me This Is A Joke!

Playing "Mercy" with Sneaky Pete

My last two days at Coventry have been emotional. I don't know how many more times I will be there before I have a job that will take me away.

One of the Stars came in a bad mood, but during Circle Time he asked for prayer to help him with his attitude. He chose the person he wanted to pray for him and it was moving to hear this Star recognize he had a problem and that he knew The One that could help him with it.

I also got to watch my Sneaky Pete not be sneaky. Okay, he did try to turn off the computer when he thought I wasn't looking, but computer time isn't his favorite. It is hard to see what everyone else is doing when you're focusing on a screen. He is more and more aware that he has the right side of his body. Exercises that I once had to help him through he does on his own. And do not play "Mercy" with this man. He is so strong he will snap your fingers off! I had to adapt that little exercise for my protection. It's not really suppose to be "Mercy", but an exercise where you stretch out your fingers. But, it turned into "Mercy". And he thought it was funny that he was so much stronger than me.

The therapy Robin does with these guys is fascinating. She works their brains so hard and they are blooming. I get to help them warm up for their time with her and I love it.

One of our Stars made his first tall vase. It was very exciting and there were lots of "Congratulations" going his way from the other Stars. I helped three of the guys make trays and a bowl. I hope they turn out well. Joyce is very patient with me as I'm learning what it the best way to do things with the clay.

I was told by one of the Stars that he thought I was funny and that I should be a comedian. That made me laugh. He also said I was sweet, which shows he doesn't know me that well! At the end of the day he said he was thinking about getting a girlfriend. I told him girls were a lot of trouble and he didn't need to worry about having one, he was better off without one. He said he thinks girls are sweet, which goes to show he doesn't spend a lot of time around girls. His brother has a girlfriend and apparently she is sweet. So, now he's decided he needs one.

Coventry is mind boggling special. Sometimes it's hard to believe it's real, that a place with so much love can exist, but it does.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Callie's Cramp

Callie has started basketball tryouts for this year. She doesn't do any physical activities any other time of the year, so when she got in the car yesterday, screamed, and grabbed her leg I knew she had a cramp. Plus, her calf muscle was bulging and she doesn't really have calf muscles.

So, I grabbed her leg and started working on the cramp. She thought I didn't understand she was hurting and began yelling even louder.

If you passed our van yesterday and witnessed wailing, thrashing, and violent shaking, it was just us getting the cramp out. Please do not call CPS.

Monday, November 10, 2008

50,000 Pairs of Shoes in 50 Days Challenge

$5 is all it takes to purchase two pairs of shoes to be given to people that desperately need them. Wow! Read the info below. Make your donation and then blog about it, talk about it, spread the news on facebook and myspace. Whatever you do, don't keep it to yourself.

Donating is easy and takes just a click and a couple of minutes. It requires no shipping, no wrapping and no trips to the post office. The monetary donation is small with $5.00 buying two pairs of new shoes. Anyone can click and give, and all donations are tax-deductible.

After 50,000 pairs have been donated, one person (with a guest of their choosing) will be selected at random to deliver the shoes they purchased to someone in need on one of Soles4Souls' trips to Mexico!

"Can you imagine what it would be like to personally give someone their very first pair of shoes?! We look forward to connecting the tangibility of handing someone a pair of shoes with the virtual world of the Internet," said Soles4Souls Founder and CEO, Wayne Elsey.

About Soles4Souls

Nashville-based Soles4Souls™ facilitates the donations of both new and used shoes, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide. Since its inception, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 3.5 million pairs (or one pair every 23 seconds) to people in 61 countries, including Honduras, Romania, Thailand, and the Sudan. The charity has been featured on CNN Headline News, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, ABC News, FOX, CBS, and hundreds of regional outlets around North America. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS; donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Visit for more information.

The 50,000 Pairs in 50 days Challenge • Win an Opportunity to Hand Deliver Your Shoes!

Imagine handing someone their very first pairs of shoes! By purchasing two pairs of shoes for $5, you are automatically entered into a random drawing to personally deliver the shoes you purchased to someone in need on one of our trips to Mexico.

The winner and an accompanying guest will travel to Mexico and will see Soles4Souls in action. The more pairs you purchase, the greater your chances are of winning. Winner must be 18 years or older with a valid US Passport. Soles4Souls will pay for airfare, transfers, lodging, and trip related meal expenses for winner and guest up to $2000 value. Some restrictions apply.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Friday Night Lights or Not

When God created high school football I believe He fully intended for the game to be played on Friday nights under the lights, but I have found a couple of good reasons for playing in the middle of a Saturday afternoon here in Texas.

1. It is warmer. I don't like to be cold.
2. You don't have to put on eye shadow or mascara because no one is going to see your eyes due to the fact you can't take off your sunglasses or you will be struck blind. You just need to make sure you don't have a unibrow or other unruly eyebrow hairs and you are good to go.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Exciting Stuff - Follow This Tour

Compassion International kicks off a new tour tomorrow. This time the bloggers are headed to the Dominican Republic! That is where my sponsored children live. And today one of them turns 4 years old. Happy Birthday!

I'm really looking forward to following all the blogs to see how this trip moves and changes those involved.