Thursday, December 30, 2010


Okay, so we've come to the end of another year. I'm sure your asking yourself how and what you are going to change in the coming year. Some things are easy to know. Like, I'm getting a son-in-law and adding a Missourian to my family in one fell swoop the first week of 2011.

Some friends that I gather with on a pretty regular bases have been talking about changes we want to make in our lives. Changes that will help grow us into more of what Jesus look like. Changes that will grow us into more purposeful people. Things like diving deep into being aware of the needs of our community and world, then doing something about those needs.

One of the things our family already does is sponsor two Compassion International kids in The Dominican Republic. Our middle daughter sponsors a little girl in Guatemala. All three of them are adorable. It's been fun to watch them grow up through their pictures and letters.

There is so much information on Compassion's website. You might not be interested in sponsoring a child, but I bet if you check out the kids that need one you will be hard pressed not to, anyway, there are many other ways to reach out and make a difference.

Disaster Relief
Child Survival Program
Leadership Development Program
AIDS Orphan
Malaria Intervention Fund
MicroFinance Giving
Global Food Crisis Fund
Highly Vulnerable Children's Fund
Medical Assistance Fund

If you're looking for changes to make in your life I suggest one or more of the above. You'll stretch yourself and help someone else out. Go read Matthew 25 if you need a little extra push.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Grandmother names

I found out the other day that my kids were discussing what I needed to be called once I became a grandmother. Pretty sure that isn't going to happen anytime soon, but with the oldest daughter getting married soon it must have been on their minds.

I wanted my kids to call their grandmothers: Grandmother or Grandma
That's what we had called ours: Grandma Sapp and Grandma Killian
It worked for me and my siblings and cousins.

Our oldest daughter had other ideas. She insisted that one of her grandmothers be called Eyetsee.
She also called her best friend at the time Eyetsee.
It finally morphed into Icee and Hannah got called Hannah.
I like the uniqueness of Icee now, but it has to be explained a lot.

My mother chose to be called Grammy and it stuck. Plus you don't argue with my mom.

There is actually a site for choosing your Grandmother name. I was shocked, though I know not why. There are pictures of nativity scenes made out of frogs. Why should anything after that shock me?

I took a little quiz to find out which grandmother name is right for me. Not really sure I can trust it though. It said I was a sophisticated intellectual and that I have my own style that is impossible for others to imitate. If truth be told, I don't think there is anyone out there that wants to imitate my style. And I can hear my family laughing over the sophisticated intellectual part. Loudly. Hugh guffaws.

It said a good grandmother moniker for me would be Nana or Bebe. Bebe? Really? Isn't that a clothing store?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

So this is Christmas

I have so many mixed feelings about this holiday. It's hard for me to just embrace it completely due to how it originated and the evolution it has gone through over the years.

Some people say that we celebrate on December 25th because we don't know the real date and I get that to a point. We have a cousin that's adopted. Her birthdate isn't known, so they celebrate her gotcha day as her birthday. But, December was chosen so the Christians would have an excuse to party like their nonbeliever friends were in their celebration of Saturnalia and Juvenalia. And the Christians did party. Raucously.

We can thank Washington Irving and Charles Dickens for many of the Christmas traditions that Americans consider holy. You can thank the Victorian Era for the idea of giving your children gifts for the holiday. If you read the story of the birth of Jesus from the actual Bible, you realize really quick that the church has woven together their own version of what happened and as usual, our version is not Biblical. What is sad is that many people who claim to be Christians would rather fight about keeping Christ in Christmas than follow what He taught.

I do know that the Son of God came to earth, shed His glory, and became human. That is a miracle, but it is a miracle that should be celebrated everyday. I'm as guilty as the next person for not doing that.

My favorite Christmas book is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. It does a great job at pointing out, in a humorous way, how we screw up the story. This is my favorite part of the book.

They looked like the people you see on the six o'clock news - refugees, sent to wait in some strange ugly place, with all their boxes and sacks around them.

It suddenly occurred to me that this was just the way it must have been for the real Holy Family, stuck away in a barn by people who didn't much care what happened to them. They couldn't have been very neat and tidy either, but more like this Mary and Joseph (Imogene's veil was cockeyed as usual, and Ralph's hair stuck out all around his ears). Imogene had the baby doll but she wasn't carrying it the way she was supposed to, cradled in her arms. She had it slung up over her shoulder and before she put it in the manger she thumped it twice on the back.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Brownies for a crowd, or in this case, a wedding

I've been working on the reception food for the wedding. (I'm officially sick of truffles by the way and I need to make four more batches.)

I thought the bride had all the recipes picked out and I was waiting for her to get them to me. Then I found out that she wanted me to choose the recipes. So I've been researching.

(Very soon I will be officially sick of mini pies and cake balls.)

When this is all over I will have used 56 cage free eggs, 14 cups of butter, 10 1/2 cups of fair-trade cocoa, 28 cups of fair-trade sugar, 21 cups of white whole wheat flour, 14 teaspoons of salt and 21 teaspoons of vanilla. Just for the brownies.

(I'm thinking I will be officially sick of brownies in a few days.)

I've got truffle making down to a science.