Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

Christmas morning 8:30----Believe it or not none of the kids are up yet. They had a "sleep-over" in Big Brother's room and all are sleeping in this morning. After the chaos of last night it is nice to enjoy the peaceful start to this morning! I can actually begin Christmas morning with a devotion and prayer time, how appropriate is that?.....


That's our Q-Man!!!

The whole Family!

Ready for bed.......

Saturday, December 22, 2007

O Little Town of Bethleham.....

This post is written in red in honor of Christmas!!

The devotional I am reading is a small book called Why a Manger? by Bodie Thoene and it has me thinking about how intentional God is. Today's topic is "Why Bethleham?". I guess I always just assumed that Jesus was born in Bethleham because that is where Mary happened to be when she went into labor. Ahhhh, little did I know that Bethleham was as carefully decided on and planned as St. Lukes Hospital was when I delivered my children. In fact, God had specifically and intentionally chosen Bethleham. Why?

First of all, I always thought Bethleham was a sweet little place with a beautiful name and clear skies full of stars. It wasn't. In fact it was dirty and poor. Home to shepherds and dirty, smelly sheep (I'm thinking this would be the modern day equivilant of the stockyards). The first born male sheep was considered holy and the shepherds would raise and sell them in Jerusalem to be sold as a sin offering in the temple.

Bethleham was also the birthplace of King David (the most famous shepherd of the Old Testament). In between the time of David's rule until the birth of Christ, there lived the prophets of God. Listen to this:

"A shoot will come up out of the stump of Jesse (David's Dad);
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The spirit of the LORD will rest on him"
Isaiah 11:1

"The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up a
good branch in David's family. He will be a king who will rule in
a wise way; he will do what is fair and right in the land."
Jeremiah 23:5

"You Bethleham Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times."
Micah 5:2

Isaiah, Jeremiah and Micah all lived several hundred years before the birth of Christ and yet all three accurately told of the coming King and exactly where he would be coming from....in Bethleham from the line of David! Where else would you expect a sacrificial lamb to be born? Where else would our Great Shepherd come from? Only from the little shepherding town of Bethleham.

"He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart." Isaiah 40:11

Once again I am reminded that nothing happens by accident or coincidence, God has a plan, even down to the smallest details! The question is, will we take the time to see His plan and all of the details involved? This is so exciting to me because it enables me to look at my life and all of its details with a new eye. Good, bad or ugly it is all a part of His great plan! A savior born in a dirty, manure-filled cave could not have appeared to be a good thing at the time, but look how it turned out! Thanks be to God that through Christ I can be sure that the dirty parts of my life will turn out for good as well! It's all in His plan and it is all in His control!

Peace and Blessings~~~Kelley

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Quiz

Here is a fun Christmas exercise courtesy of my friend Janna:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. Wrapping presents puts me in the Christmas spirit!

2. Real tree or artificial? Real!! We love going to the tree farm.....sometimes we bring home more than a tree (like our yellow lab, Maggie).

3. When do you put up the tree? We try to do it Thanksgiving weekend, if the weather cooperates!

4. When do you take the tree down? The weekend after New Year's

5. Do you like eggnog? NO! And with as many calories as it has I am glad I don't like it!!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My very own sewing machine!

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes!

8. Hardest person to buy for? My nephew, Tyler!

9. Easiest person to buy for? My mom, she likes everything (or at least she says she does!)

10. Worst Christmas gift you've ever received? An Ab-Roller from my husband right after I found out I was pregnant with #5!

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, it's the traditionalist in me!

12. Favorite Christmas movie? The original Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (have you ever noticed that Santa is kind of mean in that movie? or that Donner is a male chauvenist reindeer?)
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I never STOP shopping for Christmas.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No I wouldn't even think of that.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Waldorf Astoria "red velvet" cake

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? We switched from colored to clear this year and I love the look!

17. Favorite Christmas song? There are so many.....Go Tell It On The Mountain, Holy Night,
O Come O Come Emmanuel....those are among my top 3!

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home, there are too many of us to travel very far!

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? I think so.....is Vixen a reindeer?

20. Angel on the tree top or star? Angel

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning!

22. Most annoying thing this time of year? The commercialism & materialism of Christmas

23. What I love most about Christmas? There are so many opportunities to interact with loved ones, engage in traditions and create memories that center around our love for Jesus!

That is probably more than anyone ever wanted to know about me but I was bored. Actually I think I learned a thing or two about myself!

Anyway, today was our CBS children's Christmas production and leader's lunch. I am so blessed to be a part of this ministry! What an awesome God we serve and there is nothing like seeing the next generation sing praise to His name!

CBS Core Leaders:

Yes, he did cooperate this year and sing!!:

My unpredictable little man:
You never know what you are going to get with Quin!

To God Be All The Glory


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The weather outside is frightful....

Ahhh, snow days!

Pros: No schedule (anything goes), I don't even have to get dressed if I don't want to. Good excuse to stay in and work on laundry, cards, bible study lesson, craft projects with the kids, watch movies, drink hot cocoa, bake cookies, eat soup and sandwiches for dinner, listen to Christmas music, wrap presents, see the beauty of God's creation dressed in white crystal!

Cons: Steady stream of kids dropping wet clothes, floors that never quite get dry, bickering about whose turn it is with the sled, too lazy to go to the gym...

Looks like the pros win that battle! And as much as my son doesn't want to hear it, it looks like we are back to the grindstone tomorrow but it was a nice break while it lasted!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Why Aroma of Joy?

So what is Aroma Of Joy?....

Well, I think out of all of our senses the least tangible but yet the most powerful is the sense of smell. An aroma can ignite feelings and memories like no sound or sight ever could. It can draw us in or drive us away, it can comfort us or make us uncomfortable. My hope for creating this blog, and in fact my desire for how I live my life, is to draw people in and have them feel comfortable. In other words I want my life to project a pleasing aroma!

Joy is defined as an emotion of great delight; a source of keen pleasure; festive gaiety. Now that is a word that I would love to use to describe my life and relationships! Obviously I am not always in a state of unbridled happiness (sorry to burst that bubble) but I can choose to seek joy. Happiness is elusive and conditional but joy is a way of life and it is contagious.

So there you have it, the aroma of joy ~ the desire of my heart to reflect a life and relationships that are permeated with great delight, keen pleasure and festive gaiety! I am thinking of this blog page as aromatherapy for life....

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Hello Out There.....

Alright, now that I have spent the entire day constructing a blog I wonder if anyone will even see it. I suppose if nothing else I can record thoughts for myself......I am just glad I was able to create this site on my own, considering I am not at all computer savvy. Of course, I am still sitting here in a bathrobe at 3:00 in the afternoon with a mountain of laundry waiting for me, Christmas cards to write, presents to wrap....etc. But hey, I have a blog site---YEAH!!!

This is my favorite way to spend a Saturday. The streets are iced over so all of the kids activities are cancelled and I don't have anywhere I have to be. Hopefully we have something in the kitchen I can whip up for supper and maybe we can settle in for a warm, cozy evening. I wish we had more time like this but I have learned to take what I can get and be thankful!

Isn't it funny the longer you sit and relax the harder it is to motivate? I had great intentions of getting things done but now all I want to do is take a nap. Blog construction can really take it out of you (LOL). I guess if I start now I can still get some of that laundry done and maybe a few presents wrapped...

Until Next Time, Kelley