Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

Our family will be going in different directions this weekend. Justin is leaving tomorrow with a couple of his friends and one of their families to spend New Year's at Myrtle Beach. He's really excited about going. I know they'll all have a great time. By the way, if you're anywhere near Myrtle Beach, there is a wonderful youth conference going on with Greg Lentz. I've already heard some great things are happening there. Brother Larry Brown and Ralph Sexton Jr have already preached this week. And the Rochester family is down there too. Can't get any better than that, right?

Hannah and Harrison will be staying with relatives and Bruce and I will be at a party for our SS class. We're looking forward to that. I don't reckon we're going to midnight, but you never know!! Us old married couples can party it up sometimes!! LOL

So what are your plans to ring in the new year? Can you believe it's almost 2010 already? I can't. This year has flown by!!!

I won't ask what your New Year's resolution is, but what would you like the Lord to do for you this coming year? Or even more importantly, since He's already done so much for us, what would you like to do for Him? Of course, I don't really want to know the answer to that. Just thought I'd throw it out there to ponder.

Colossians 4:5 "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas

We had a very merry Christmas.  I hope you did too!  Ours started Christmas Eve with my family here at our home.  It was good seeing everyone together and I enjoyed all of them being here. 

There was a lot of food on the table.  AND the counter tops.  Way too much food, really.  REALLY!

Harrison was to read the Christmas story from Luke 2 this year.  He was very excited about that!

Daddy had some special presentations to give.  You know daddy....always coming up with some crazy idea.  Well this one was hilarious.  One we all had fun with.  He took something that reminded him of mom, John, myself, Bruce, and Jenny, and gave us an award for those things.  Mom's, I suppose, is self explanatory.  It's no secret she makes her own mountain medicine, and has for as long as I can remember.  So daddy gave her the Golden Jar Award.

John has become "Mr. Mom" since his lay off so dad gave him the Golden Rolling Pin Award.

Being the king of his house, daddy awarded Bruce the Golden Plunger Award, because every king needs a sceptor by his throne.  LOL 

I was awarded the Golden Keyboard Award for my blog posts, skits and plays, and whatever else I choose to write.

And then my sister-in-law, Jenny, was given the Golden Bedpan Award.  She is in nursing school and doing very well with her classes.  So daddy thought this was the appropriate award for her.  However, what was inside the bedpan was inappropriate and I wouldn't take a picture of it.  Let's just say it involved a Baby Ruth candy bar. 

We played games, which mom gave door prizes for.  Jessica won one of the games and this was her prize....

There was a lot of laughter and fun and John is always good at bringing that out anywhere he goes!

I love my family and had a great time with them Christmas Eve!

Hannah and I cleaned up after everyone left and had fun working together in the kitchen.  Then it was bedtime!  My dogs were tired!!  Harrison never goes to bed, but that night he was eager to hit the sheets.  Not from being tired, mind you, but because he couldn't wait for Christmas morning!! 

He's been toying with the idea of taking up an instrument and mentioned he would like to play the guitar.  So, Bruce, the guitar-man, found this one for him.  Just perfect for his size.  He was thrilled!

I got a new coat and I love it.  It fits like a glove and the warmest coat I think I've ever had.

This was funny....Bruce had a very golf Christmas this year.  Among other golf items, I bought him this golf ball retriever.  It's basically a round retriever on a long stick.  But Justin wanted to have fun wrapping it so he used the cardboard wrapping rolls and made the, basically straight stick, look like some kind of bird.  He used gobs of tape, which irritated Bruce as he tried to unwrap it.  And the kids and I just rolled in laughter.

Justin and Hannah were glad for giftcards.  They were out of here first thing Saturday morning ready to hit the stores and spend their giftcards and Christmas money. 

Oh, and I got the Paula Deen rolling pin and cutting board I wanted.  YAY!  :)

After opening gifts Christmas morning, we headed to my mother-in-law's house for more food and more fun.  Our great-nephew, Leyton, was ever so happy to eat Pumpkin Crisp his mommy made.  Check out that "open wide" action!  lol

Bruce's brother, Mitch, and his wife, Angie, were able to be with us this year.  It was so good having them home for Christmas.  We miss them when they're not here.  But then that's military life for ya, right?  And we're proud and thankful for their military family!! 

Our niece Brandy was so sick Christmas day she ended up in the ER with two shots.  But I think she's doing a little better.  Nothing a couple of shots and some rest won't cure.

Marie loved the outfit we got her.  This was the top and the bottom was a black skirt with a pleated tail.  It's so pretty and I knew she would look pretty in it.  When the kids saw it they all agreed it was definitely something Grandmother would wear. 

Our great-niece, Mackenzie, took up to our nephew Jackson right away.  She had herself a big brother for the day!  It was so sweet.  Everywhere Jackson was, there was Mack.

And of course, Grandmother just had to get a squeeze from the great-grandson!

It just thrilled Marie to have all her boys together again.  That helps to make a great Christmas!  Being together with your family.

I like this picture of my brother-in-law, Bryan, and his wife, Cindy. 

And we can't have a reunion without a picture of the four boys together.They're wearing the hats their mom gave them.  Gotta keep those heads warm, you know!

And last, but not least, Barry asleep in the recliner.  He was doing what we all wanted to do and eventually did.  :)

So that was our Christmas.  I'm looking forward to another new year and seeing what the Lord has planned for us and our families.  I know it's going to be good!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jesus is the Reason

As I grew up, daddy played Santa until I was about three or so.  To be honest, I have no memory of him playing Santa at all and I'm kind of guessing about my age.  After that, he became convicted and stopped anything to do with Santa during the Christmas season.  So I vaguely remember anything of Santa through my childhood.  Most of what daddy taught us was that Santa is a lie.  But he also made us very aware of the similarities between Santa and Jesus.  The red suit being Christ's blood.  The white on his suit is how Christ washes us white as snow.  That he sees us when we're sleeping and when we're awake, just like Christ.  He knows when we've been bad or good, just like Christ.  He's keeping a list, just like Christ.  So I can understand and I very much respect anyone's conviction not to participate in playing Santa with their children.

As I grew up and had children of my own, those things I was taught as a child about Santa I remembered and, although Bruce wanted to play Santa with the kids, he respected me and we did not play Santa.  But when Harrison was born and we were told not to have anymore children Bruce really wanted to play Santa with him.  Bruce had a lot of fun memories as a child.  His mom always made sure that Santa was never the main focus through Christmas.  She made sure her four boys knew that Jesus was the reason we celebrated Christmas.  That it was all about Him.  But she did take them to see Santa and she did leave gifts for them under the tree from Santa. 

I gave into playing Santa with Harrison, so he's the only one of my three children that ever believed.  And I have to admit, it's been fun.  I worked very hard teaching my children, not the similarities, but the differences between Santa and Christ.  When I received this in an email from a friend of mine I thought I would post it.  Santa is fun to play.  But Jesus truly is the reason for the season.  So as you think about the similarities that others say Satan uses to rob Christ of this season, remember the DIFFERENCES between them.  The differences that cause Santa to pale in comparison to Jesus Christ.

Jesus is our Saviour and not Santa

Santa lives at the North Pole.

JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh

JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year

JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies

JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited

JESUS stands at your door and knocks.. and then enters your heart.

You have to stand in line to see Santa

JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap

JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is "Hi little boy or girl, What's your name?"

JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly

JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO

JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says "You better not cry"

JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you."

Santa's little helpers make toys

JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but

JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree

JESUS became our gift and died on the tree (cross).

It's obvious there is really no comparison.

We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.

Christmas Play

A few posts down I forgot to post pictures of our Christmas play. We had our play two weeks ago on a Sunday night. Everything went smoothly. I had problems writing this one this year. It wasn't really one big play but rather three small skits with verses, singing, and narrations in between. The theme, however, was all the same. "Everybody Ought To Know." Throughout the year and, especially at Christmas, it is important to know and share Jesus Christ with others.

In the first skit was a couple with their newborn baby. They realized the importance of raising their son in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They pray over that child that God would save him at an early age, showing him saving grace and a desire to share Christ with others.

The second skit shows that baby as a teenager, called to preach. He's on his way to bus ministry to preach to the children before their Christmas party when he runs into some other teens from school. They've just gotten out for Christmas break and want him to go to the City Park with them to play some ball. But he declines because he wants to preach to the children. His desire is to share with them, not only God's saving grace, but his sovereign grace also. The teens call him a fanatic and go on about their way.

The third skit is a grandmother that calls the director of their church play to see what time the play will be. The director tells the grandmother what time and says how thankful she is that the lady's grandchildren have been raised to love the Lord and love to serve the Lord and not just sit on a pew and do nothing. The grandmother mentions the importance of seeing her grandchildren serve the Lord. That they had received his saving grace, his sovereign grace, and because of that, they will experience his sustaining grace through life.

The last part of the play, I think, was the most powerful. The narrator said, "The world needs Jesus. We can begin evangelizing our homes, which will extend to our neighbors, and all those we come into contact with. The world needs men, women, boys, and girls, to take a stand for Jesus and NOT be ashamed to tell others the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ! The world needs Christians to tell them the true meaning of Christmas. That Christ came to this earth to die for THEIR sins. The world needs Christians to be soldiers of the cross. The world needs YOU and ME to accept the challenge. Will you go and tell others? Will YOU stand up for Jesus?" When he said "Will YOU stand up for Jesus?" several people got up from the congregation and lined up across the platform holding signs of what they did in the church or what they did for a living. The first few people/families sang the first few lines of Stand for Jesus.

Stand for Jesus
Don't be ashamed
Stand for Jesus
Praise His name
For He loved you on a rugged cross
With arms held open wide
Stand for Jesus
He's standing by your side....

At the last minute (the morning of the play) we asked Tammy to hold a sign in memory of her mother, who was saved in the bus ministry as a little girl and worked the nursery at the bus ministry at church before she passed away suddenly just four days before this play. Tammy is her daughter. Brother Ted, Tammy's brother, sang one of the verses of Stand for Jesus while his wife, Rebecca, held a sign in memory of Mrs. Barbara Weathers.
It was very moving!!

The songs Mrs. Carolyn chose were wonderful:
  • Everybody Ought To Know ~ Youth Choir
  • What Can I Give Him ~ Pee Wees
  • Into My Heart ~ Pee Wees
  • Help Me To Walk ~ Youth Choir
  • Win the Lost at Any Cost ~ Sons of Faith
  • Amazing Love ~ Justin, Hannah, and Kelsey
  • It's All in the Name of Jesus ~ Youth Choir
  • Stand for Jesus ~ Youth Choir
Everything went great. The youth choir and Patch children, Mrs. Carolyn and musicians, all did a wonderful job. I love my church family!

Click here for pictures from the play.

This video was not taken during the play, but it's Sons of Faith with our Youth Choir singing Win the Lost at Any Cost.

Celebrations and Christmas Stuff

We had a great time at my mom and dad's Tuesday night. We met with the Brittain family there. Mom had BBQ with the fixin's and we played games. It was a lot of fun with lots of laughter!

Then today we celebrated our 19th anniversary.  When Bruce got up this afternoon, he took me to the Cheesecake Factory in Charlotte.  We had such a great time together.  I am so happy to be married to a very loving and giving husband.  He is just the sweetest man.  I have blessed!!

Click here to see pictures of our trip to The Cheesecake Factory.

When our church started giving out Christmas treat bags each year, they started with fifty.  This year we passed out over 778, I believe was the number. 

Click here to see pictures of some of the men putting together the treat bags.  They did a great job!  Thanks, guys!

Despite the sudden event of Mrs. Shirley's homegoing last Wednesday morning, our church still had our annual churchwide Christmas Fellowship Wednesday night.  None of us were really in a partying mood.  Pastor Goodman didn't even pass our presents from under the tree.  We had a good fellowship, but our hearts were heavy and sad for Mrs. Shirley's family and for our own loss of a friend, as well.   

Click here to see pictures of our Churchwide Fellowship.

I think that pretty much catches everyone up on the pictures from this month so far. 

The next few days will be filled, Lord willing, with last minute shopping, baking a few treats, wrapping gifts, cleaning the house, preparing food for our Christmas Eve family party with my family, preparing more food for our Christmas Day family party with Bruce's family, and enjoying the Christmas all the way around!!

So I guess that means lots of pictures to come later, huh?  :)  

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy 19th Anniversary!


Engagement Picture

Wedding...and a line of a poem Bruce wrote for me.

My Sweetie Pie and me.

Happy Anniversary to the greatest husband ever. I love you so much and I look forward to every second God gives us together.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

WOW! What a Funeral!

We were privileged to attend the homegoing service of Mrs. Shirley Walker yesterday.  And WOW!  What a funeral!!

I told Bruce on our way there that it just doesn't make sense to be going to this.  He said, "It doesn't make sense to us, but it does to God.  There's no telling what He's going to do through this."

Mrs. Shirley and her husband had not been married long.  During the service, Brother Ron stood up and said, "I bless the day she became my wife, I bless the three and a half years God gave me with her, and I bless the day He took her home."  It takes a great faith in God and trust in God to be able to stand up and say that during your spouse's homegoing service. 

Something else one of her children said during the service was, "This is not a day of punishment for us, but a day of reward for her."  How precious! 

Services at our church are not normal for your average Baptist church...ever.  And yesterday's homegoing service was no different.  Meetin' broke out and hearts were touched.  The best thing that happened was three people came to know the Lord!!  One of which was Mrs. Shirley's brother.  Praise the Lord!  I know that she was rejoicing in Heaven over that.  She prayed for her family every day.

We were glad we were able to make it.  Not just to support her family, whom we love dearly, but to witness the mercy and greatness of God through her death.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Santa...Bad Influence on Children!

I've read a lot of blogs over the last several weeks and people are doing their yearly post on the evils of Satan....I mean, Santa!  Sorry.  Anyway...Talk Radio (you know the station you listen to when your blood pressure just isn't high enough) spoke with a British Doctor that said Santa is a bad influence on children.

Really?  This I've never heard.  Doesn't he give gifts to all the children in the world and make them happy? OK, I was raised and respect the perspective that you're lying to your children.  But I had to turn up the volume on this segment because I wanted to hear what the Dr. had to say.

Dr. Grills wrote his article in the British Medical Journal.  He wanted parents to know that Santa promotes drunk driving.  I didn't understand that at first.  I mean, what's in that milk kiddies leave him on Christmas Eve anyway?  But I guess the US and a few other countries are the only ones that leave him milk.  Other countries are leaving him a glass of sherry.  So yeah, I guess Santa is flying around with a buzz.  You think?

He also promotes obesity with all the cookies and Christmas goodies left for him.  So I guess Dr. Grills is saying if you're obese you're a bad influence on children.  *sigh*  Better eat a few of those carrot and celery sticks Dr. Grills suggests leaving out for Santa in place of cookies.  I wonder if cream cheese dip is ok to serve with those?

Not only does Santa promote drunk driving and obesity, but he also promotes bad safety.  If your child is caught or hurt doing extreme sports, such as roof surfing or chimney the North Pole and complain.  They picked that up from Santa too!!  I haven't heard of any children doing this, but you just never know.  I don't know how to get that number to complain, but maybe you could google it.

And if your little one refuses to wear their seatbelt, they got that from him too!  Santa doesn't wear his either.  And he's flying the skies in a sleigh!  Not only is he not wearing his seatbelt, but he hasn't a helmet either.  I wonder if he would consider using the one he was going to give Little Timmy this year? 

Santa use to promote smoking too.  But apparently he stopped that in the 1930's.  Maybe the drunken, cigarette puffing, obese, dangerous extreme sport promoting man in the red suit will think twice about his influece on children from here on out!

Somehow I doubt it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

If We Had Our Way

In the past we have always had the Churchwide Christmas party in the gym, but this year we had it in the Family Life Center.  I liked it in there.  It was cozy!  We had a good time, as always, however, our church family was not in a partying mood.  Our hearts were heavy and sad at the loss of one of our own, Mrs. Shirley. 

I've been thinking about her family all day.  How her husband is grieving for his spouse.  How her children are grieving for their mother.  How her grandchildren are grieving for their grandmother.  And how we are all grieving for our friend. 

If we had our way, Mrs. Shirley would still be here smiling and laughing at the funny things her grandchildren would say and do.  She would be here flirting with her husband.  Helping her children with different things in their lives.  If we had our way, Mrs. Shirley would be home tonight signing Christmas cards, baking cookies, or working on a sewing project.  If we had our way, Mrs. Shirley would be where she was every Saturday morning, working the nursery of our bus ministry. 

But our way is not always God's way.  And God's way is always best.  It is He who decides what comes next in our life.  And we must trust His guiding hand. 

When the call came through this morning, the first thing I did when I hung up was snap my fingers at my kids and said, "Just like that, you are not promised another second."

I visited the family tonight before our churchwide fellowship.  I think in situations like this when it happens so suddenly, you think you're going to walk in and find the family falling apart.  I didn't find that tonight.  Of course they were crying and grieving.  But there was peace in the house.  A peace that passeth all understanding. 

Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

 If we had our way we would not face the pain and troubles we experience in this world.  But our ways are not God's way.  Do we trust His ways?  Or do we lean on our own understanding?

Proverbs 27:1 "Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Requesting Prayer...

...for a sweet family in our church.  The family of Mrs. Shirley Corriveau Walker has suffered a great loss today.  Heaven is even sweeter.  Mrs. Shirley will be greatly missed.

Psalm 116:15 "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekend Happenings

This weekend was a busy weekend.  Of course every weekend through the month of December has us bustling around like busy little bees!
Thursday we celebrated Bruce's 40th birthday.  We had a lot of fun.  A little picking on him for turning forty, but he left for work later that night with a big smile on his face.  We love him so much!! 

The supper turned out great!  And the cake was mucho-delish!!  My mother-in-law, my parents, and Kelsey joined us for supper. 

Bruce was outside when we took the group pic.  Funny...his birthday and yet he missed the group photo.  But that's ok.  I took one with him.  :D

Ain't he purdy?

I had a calendar made for his birthday.  Each month was a picture of him eating somewhere around town.  It was really funny and he seemed to get a kick out of it.  We all did, actually. 

He got money from his mom, which he put towards a set of golf clubs he found.  And my parents gave him new jammies and some other personal items.  :)

The kids and I had a special something for him also.  They told some "My dad is so old..." jokes and I read a poem I wrote for him.  I have videos of both of those and I'll share those later.


Friday night we kept our usual date night while the kids had their Sunday School Christmas parties.  Harrison was so excited about his party all day Friday, he was about to bust!!  Daddy and Brother Lemons, Harrison's SS teachers, said he was bouncing off the walls at the party.  When he got home he passed out cold, sitting up on the couch.  So cute! 


Saturday night we had a great time at the Baker family reunion.  This was a good group shot, but there were so many that didn't make it and so many that left before this picture was taken.  But it still turned out great!

We took advantage of the Christmas tree in the foyer of the church.  I liked this pic of my babies! 

Kelsey came to the reunion with us too. 

Kelsey talked Justin into doing a Charlie's Angels pose with her and Hannah.  Look at his face.  He was cracking up!

Kelsey and Hannah

This is Bruce's cousin, Adam, and his wife, Jessica.  This time next year, we'll have another little Baker at the reunion. 

Aunt Sylvia had a picture video made for everyone.  She put a copy of it in and we watched it together.  It was so nice and there were a lot of fun pictures on there.

Every year I take a picture of these two guys!  The same pose...every year.  We'll be watching little man grow up in pictures on his daddy's lap.  :)

Me and my darlin'!

Bruce and I did The Greatest Christmas Tree.  I wanted Hannah to video it for you, but she ended up just taking pictures. 

And these are the Baker siblings with their spouses.  We missed Bruce's daddy, Uncle Larry, and Uncle Joe.  All have gone home to Jesus.  And of course we missed Bruce's cousin, Ricky, who also went on to Heaven this year. 

It's going to be a busy week with another busy weekend ahead of us.  I'm looking forward to it!