Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
Luke 6:38 NLT
I have always believed it is better to give than to receive. Ok, maybe not always....I doubt that I felt that way when I was six years old, laying in bed, anxiously waiting for Santa to come and fill my stockings and put that bike under the tree that I so desperately wanted. But, as I've grown and matured, giving has meant so much more to me. I still love to receive gifts, but not expensive gifts, I love getting gifts from the heart. Like when Carrie makes me a gourd or some beautiful jewelry or my mom writes me a poem or Chrissi or Nicole or Kendall draw me a picture or when my husband finds just the right card that says what he feels in his heart....at those moments I love to receive! But giving can be even more fulfilling. I love it when I find just the right gift that totally suits the recipient. One of the best giving moments for me is last father's day when Jay's dad was pretty ill and I was trying to figure out what to give him that would mean something to him. He's always loved Footprints, although I didn't really know just how much at the time, but I wanted to find a picture of some footprints in the sand and type up the copy in Photoshop and print it out and frame it and give it to him. I thought that every time he looked at it, he would be comforted in knowing that God was carrying him through. I talked to Jay about it and he liked the idea and he suggested going through the photos we took of Lonnie when he and Sharon were here for the wedding and we took them to the beach and it was the first time they had seen the ocean. If you could have seen Lonnie that day, it was a moment that is forever frozen in our hearts. His eyes were so wide and he just stood there and stared at those big waves and you could see the wonder in his expression. So, we found just the right photo and I put it all together in Photoshop and found a frame and sent it to him for Father's day and he hung it up and Sharon told us how much it meant to him. She even brought the framed picture to the funeral and had it up for everyone that walked by as a reminder that even when he was so ill and struggling so much, he was never alone. Well, that gift keeps on giving. The other night, Jay asked if I would print out that photo and frame it and give it to him to hang up in his office. It meant so much to me that he wanted to have that image in his office to look at every day. It was such a simple gift that cost so little, but meant so much and I think of all of the gifts that I've ever given in my life, that one is the most precious to me. I think it's partially because that was Lonnie's last Father's day on this earth.
Whatever gifts you give this year, give them with your heart and I guarantee, the return will be so much more than the investment. I know it's not always easy to come up with just the right gift. I'm struggling right now, trying to figure out what to get my Grandmother. She's 96 and can hardly move and is living with my Aunt and Uncle and has little space for her things and I just cannot figure out what to give her. But, I refuse to get stressed or frustrated about it, because I know that whatever I give her, as long as I give it with my heart, she will love it. Gifts of the heart have a great ROI!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
After the 9 Sops Christmas party, we came home and relaxed for a little while and then Jay and I dropped Kendall off at her friend Ken's Hollywood themed 14th birthday party. Ken gave Kendall a Hannah Montana wig for her birthday and she decided to wear the wig and dress up as Avril Levigne for the party. She designed her costume on her own and we encouraged her to do so. She was having so much fun putting her costume together that we didn't want to discourage her, so she came out all put together and was ready to go!
I don't know why Jay insisted on getting me in the background in this photo!
After we dropped Kendall off at Ken's house, Jay and I drove out to Nipomo for the Genesis volunteer Christmas party. As many of you know, I have been helping out with the children's ministry with our church since July. I serve on Wild West Wednesdays and have really been enjoying it. Every year the Genesis leaders Christie & Erik host a volunteer Christmas party at their home and everyone brings homemade soups. I made Rachael Ray's Black Bean Stoup and it was very tasty! There were probably over a dozen different soups at the party and no two were alike. We started off with appetizers (potstickers, chilled shrimp and mozerella sticks) and hot apple cider. First I had the chicken tortilla soup and a piece of bread, followed by the black bean stoup, which incidentally we are having for dinner tonight as well. Jay started off with the minestrone soup and had split pea with ham for seconds. They had all the fixins (cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream, tortilla chips, salsa) and about 3 different kinds of rolls. After dinner we each had a small piece of Snickers cake. After dinner we all sat around and had some fellowship and then it was time for games. The majority of the ladies (except for 3 of us) played a game at the large picnic table and the guys (and the 3 brave ladies) played Texas Hold 'Em at the dining room table. We played with chips, but there was no buy in and there were 10 of us total. Only 3 people at the table had ever played before, so it was a very relaxed game. Jay and I were only able to play for about 40 minutes before we had to leave to pick up Kendall from Ken's birthday party but we really enjoyed ourselves and I think I had the most chips when we left (I won two consecutive jackpots.) The best part was just being able to spend time with friends and meet some new friends and just enjoy the company. Tomorrow night is the women's tea. By the way, Kendall's team won the scavenger hunt at the birthday party and she came home with a DVD of all of the Pixar short movies. Yea!!!!