Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Life...is AWESOME right now.

My apologies for the lack of posting. Explanation follows:
  • Christmas. Two sets of families merging for the holidays creates lots of demand for board game participation and has no mercy for the one needing to make time for blogging. You understand.
  • onething. Working a 15,000 person conference while my some of my best friends in the whole wide world are in town also isn't very conducive to writing one to three times a day.
Hope I can get pictures up soon, but if this blogger is ever going to put anything simply, it's this: I'm having a fantastic time. For now, that's all I have time to tell you and therefore all you need to know.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Beginning

I saw it from across the room.  One of those large 8x11 envelopes, stuck upright between two boxes, and all I could see was "Westmont" in the upper corner.  I walked slowly across the room, pointing at it, mouth wide open (I kid you not).  

As I tore it open I hurriedly spilled "it's a big envelope!  a big envelope!  you know what that means??"  Everyone already knew...if you get a normal sized envelope, it's a simple rejection letter.  If you get a major envelope, it's a whole acceptance packet.  

Sure enough, in the envelope was a fancy folder:

"Westmont

CONGRATULATIONS

Offer of Admission Enclosed"

AND...I got a sweet scholarship.

Yippeee!!!

Just a few hours earlier I had been telling Amy that, since I have been wanting so badly to stay in Kansas City, every time I think about getting into colleges I almost ask the Lord that I would just get rejected, making the decision easier.  Then I realize how nice it will feel, though, to be accepted and approved in that way. :)  

Sure enough, it does feel quite amazing.  The Lord is ultimately in control of where I get in, so we'll see...   


Sunday, December 21, 2008

"D" is for Denmark

Jenny.Lee assigned me the letter "D"...I have to think of ten things I love that start with D. It was the first time I had been to her blog, and I decided to dive in head first! =D Here goes...

Delight

Isaiah 62:4 -- "You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you."

Whether it's Glorie's little laugh, making baby Samuel smile, or sitting with Jesus and listening to Him tell me things, Delight describes one of the best feelings in the world.

Daddy

I love my Daddy! He's one of the wisest people I know. Every day of my life, he has worked to instill the Word of God in me...growing up, every answer to my questions had a lesson from the Bible in it. I have a feeling I've hardly gotten a foot deep into the ocean of treasures God has poured into my father...I can't wait to learn more and more and more from him. He has caught me off guard so many times with his responses of tenderness and kindness (read: when I like a boy, his understanding surprises me...have I mentioned I have the best dad in the world?) One of the best feelings in the world is knowing the delight that my dad takes in his children (read: "me!") He loves to quote the verse from 3 John to us: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." Dad, you have loved and taught us well!


P.S. Isn't my Daddy handsome?? =)

Dancing

Hands down, best part of wedding receptions. Plus, last year in PE we had dance lessons for a few weeks, and I have a basic understanding of the foxtrot, a line dance, and the rumba.

And, dances are such an integral part of all the Austen romances...

Deciduous Trees
Can you tell this is getting hard? hehe

Life just wouldn't be the same if I didn't live somewhere where the trees didn't turn brilliant orange, red, and yellow come September.
Darcy

Mister, that is. I mean, who doesn't?


Design
But only certain kinds...I don't like art, really, but I love designing weddings and rooms. Basically, stuff with color schemes and elegance really gets me.

Delineating 

Delineate: to portray in words; describe or outline with precision
  • I like to blog
  • I'm working on speaking more clearly :)
Dora 

This woman is amazing.  She took my brother away from us one Thanksgiving when he visited her while she was studying in Spain, and the next Thanksgiving they were a few days from being married.  Love her, love her.  My sister she is!!


Deuteronomy 32:47 

"They are not just idle words for you—they are your life."

Death to Self...

My life is not my own, and it's not about me.

Philippians 2:5-7
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 
 Who, being in very nature God, 
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 
 but made himself nothing, 
      taking the very nature of a servant, 
      being made in human likeness."

So, I started working on this post on Thursday and have only now finished.  Yippee!!  (And, thanks to all my friends on facebook who gave me suggestions once I got stuck.)  

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Madness Begins

The Christmas guests begin arriving tonight.

This is going to be wild.  It's like one non-stop party from now until January 2nd, when everyone not taking up residence in KC will officially be gone.  First Christmas, then onething08...

So, I really wish I had something interesting to blog.  Let me think...

Oh wait, I do!  Except, I can't find Liz's camera cord, so I can't upload the videos that will melt you like the sun on a 500 degree day (from cuteness...the cuteness will melt you).  When I get home, I will attempt to upload said videos and pictures.  Let's just say that Pre-School Christmas Programs are priceless.

What else, what else...  Ummm....  Nothing's coming.  If I think of anything interesting, I'll let you know.

Oh wait!  Christmas shopping...  I have one more official gift to buy -- after that there are a couple more I might get, but being almost done feels so good!  Let me clue you in on a few deals:

Amazon.  I'm falling in love -- free shipping not once but TWICE.  The way to Annie's heart is through free shipping, which is why...

Gymboree makes the list!  Free shipping and 20% off EVERYTHING!

How is Christmas shopping going for you?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Feeling Loved

I have the sweetest sisters in the whole wide world.  All of 'em, seriously.  There are no better people.

All last week I was close to the depths of despair because TheCall Christmas party was on Friday and I, before I knew of it, made a babysitting commitment for that night.  I called the parents, let them know the situation, said I would totally still do it, but by any chance did they have anyone else they could call?  No, they didn't.  Ahh!

I planned on visiting the party once I was done babysitting (technically it would be over, but I hoped people would still be there).  THEN.  Ohmygoodness then.  Elizabeth offered to babysit for me so I could go to the party.

Did I mention I have the best sisters in the whole world?

Liz filled in for me!  It was such a treat.  I had totally gotten myself into striving-strong mode where I tried to be the best I could be for everybody to prove who I am, and that just doesn't work.  Basically, that sort of living quite quickly makes you ready to throw in the towel and be a hermit for the rest of your days.  I had to remind myself that I can't save the world and it's okay to let Liz help me out and it's okay to ask Suz to take a cake out of the oven if I have to run to an obligation ('nother story).

I loved the party.  I think it wouldn't have mattered what actually happened, I was just so fabulously happy to be there.  Liz's orders as I left were: 1) "You better have the time of your life!"  2) "Stay out all night" (Then she thought about it and recanted: "Well, you know...not too late" and 3) "No kissing!"  (she kids, she kids...No kissing going on in this life).  Me and my coconut cake made our way over there, and just had a wonderful time. :)  

Meanwhile, Liz hung out with what I thought was going to be a sleeping baby who ended up throwing up on her and not going to sleep.  Ah, sister.  True sacrifice.

Thanks SO much, Liz!  I just had to blog about the whole thing to let everyone know how amazing you were. :) Love you to pieces!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Edited to Add

Poor Samuel...none of his pictures got into the Christmas card post yesterday!  Two of him that I love...


And, here are a few from Glorie's 2nd Birthday:






This was one of Glorie's presents...   Liz had thought for a while that sponsoring a little child with the same birthday as Glorie would be a great thing to on the occasion, but hadn't looked into it.  The week before the party, Liz had a dream where she saw a picture of a little girl, and it was so confusing, because it was a little white girl, and she always associated sponsoring children with little children in Africa.  The next day, she got on World Vision only to find that you are indeed able to search for children by birthday.  She typed in Glorie's special day and up popped this little girl -- the exact same one as in her dream.  She is in Armenia, and is exactly as old Glorie.  SO amazing...we wonder what's in store in the future, since Jesus obviously picked this little girl for Liz to sponsor so specifically.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Card!


Today, Suz decided that we should use our half an hour where we had free time, dress the kids up, and take a Christmas photo. It worked! Of course the children had a hard time doing nice smiles instead of massive "CHEEEEEEEEEEEESE" (you just don't know until you see it for yourself), but it all turned out okay in the end. :) This beauty will be printed as a 3x5 print and sent with all the Christmas cards that will be leaving the McD household:
Some other favorites that didn't make it into the card, but still melt my heart:




Posted by Picasa
And, just in case you can't see that picture of Ariel that is on the card itself, I'm going to give you large version because, well, it's one of my favorite pictures of all time.  

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Read it!

I just want to point you to this blog that has some posts that you might really like:


It's a little bit different than my usual blog-read, seeing as I usually go for the blogs filled with every-day life stories.  Dana, though, has such deep revelation about who God is and what His word says, as well as having a real gift for expressing those things.  I know her (her daughter goes to preschool with Ariel) and she is just amazing through and through!  Anyway, I especially enjoyed the newest post "Wordless Words of God in Bethlehem".

Enjoy!

Just when you thought you had the cat in the bag...

I figured, "hey!  I learned to drive in a Chicago winter!  I got this DOWN."

Then I drove away from the onething house down a hill.  Oops, we don't have any of those in Chicago.  I didn't get in an accident or anything (praise the Lord), but I did have to drive fifteen miles an hour down Red Bridge.  Liz called me while I was at my friend's house, told me to go home, and gave me a three-second lesson in how not to slide over the phone.  I was off, switching into 2nd gear down hills and pumping the brake the whole way.  Thanks, sister!

I got an orange scarf to go with the new coat:

Pretending to be a spy (aka how I kept my neck warm before I got a scarf):

Better views of the whole thing:

The thing is, I really need gloves and a hat.  My fingers ache for a while after being in the cold...is that weird?  

Lastly, my sister Amy is on her way to me!  (Insert shameless plug that her book Perpetua is one of the best books every written by one of the best authors ever to live.  It's about a third century martyr in Carthage-- how she met Jesus, learned how to live the Gospel, married a godly man, had a baby, then gave her life for Jesus in the ampitheatre -- true story.  Get it!)  She is leaving Hawaii, where she was my sister-in-law's faithful companion while Sam was deployed.  Although it's hard for her to leave them and the beauty and sun of the island life, I am so glad she's coming home to me!  She'll get to her final destination, KC, in a little over two weeks, and then it will seriously just be ONE BIG PARTY here in the middle of the midwest.  Hope you still have your winter coat, dearest, because the snow is crashing our party in massive amounts.

I Love Him More...

Surrender seems to be the theme of the everyday Christian life.  I know that seems obvious, but...

It's all about loving Him more.  The other day I was thinking about this divine scale that tips between understanding God and what He says, and understanding with eyes of faith things like the Trinity that cannot be described or taken in as mere words.  Specifically, the Bible.  That book is God's very words...explanation of life and death are found in them.  From the world beginning in Genesis to the end of the age in Revelation, the words are perfect.  Perfect and true, yes.  Easy?  No.

There's a spot where your mind and your heart collide.  There's the "common sense" of the world that says you should go one way, but you know the Lord is calling you to walk another.  As humans we seem to have this reflex called control, where if it doesn't make sense or match what we want, then we throw it out.  Think about it...we try to design everything to be as comfortable as possible for us.  

But with God, we can't always understand.  And that is uncomfortable.  Our need to be in control?  Impossible.  Our want to dictate how everything works?  Abolished.  

You can try to understand God, and force it all to "make sense" to your human brain, but that usually leads places like Postmodernism and Agnosticism, not to mention just plain religion.  

As I thought about this issue of people being tripped up by not being able to understand the Bible or not being able to understand God, it came down to this: Love.

I love Him more than I love my right to understand.

Relinquishment for the sake of love.  Isn't that what Jesus did?  

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  --Philippians 2:5-7

And, with His help, we get to do it with our every day -- with all of us.   He is worth it all...every thing we have to give up, every right to control and to understand relinquished -- all of it.  He's worth my all.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Good Things of Life

Recently, I've been smiling inside and feeling, well, like Cinderella.  (Cinderella at the end of the story...I did just sweep the floor, but, I have neither an evil stepmother nor any evil step-sisters).  

I can't totally explain it, but I do know that Jesus is continuing to be crazy good to me.  Some of my best friends in the whole wide world are coming to Kansas City for onething, and every time I think about it, I could jump out of my skin.  Yippee!!

At the moment, I'm watching The Great Escape. If you haven't seen it, go watch it on Netflix or something.  It's an incredible true story from World War II, and one of the best parts is knowing that Steve McQueen, one of the main actors, got saved later in his life.  Awesome.

Someday That Will be Me.

I'm not at all implying the two-guys part. However, I did find myself today resolving that someday I want to wear this little black dress. I just need a party to go to, and I need to find, um, the dress.
And I want to wear shiny black heels and pearls with it. I've wanted black heels for a long time...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Encouragement

This morning was Glorie's second birthday bash.  Man, my sister throws a mean party.  It was the cutest thing EVER!  The little girls came dressed in their ballet/princess outfits and we had cute-o heart shaped waffles and pancakes...it was a blast.  I left my camera at home (doh!) and so if any pics end up here, they were taken by me on Liz's camera...

I want to point you to another awesome post on Kate's blog.  First, I had never seen the story of Jacob that way.  SO good.  Second, I love reading stories of how Jesus moved!  He moves!  He speaks!  He changes lives!  Hearing His work is like honey...so sweet.

Lastly, I found this verse yesterday that I had never heard before.  I was searching for the right one to inscribe in the book of Bible stories I got Glorie, and was looking for verses that emphasize how important the words of God are to us:

Deuteronomy 32:45-47  
"When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, he said to them, "Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess."

Wow.  God never minces words, does He?  Wow.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Que en el Mundo?

So, I am really excited about my birthday present for Glorie.  She turns 2 on Monday.  TWO!  I can't believe it.  

She has just melted my heart with how much she wants to read her Bible.  It's a little picture one, but anytime she asks to read it: "My Bye-bu", I'm overcome.  There is also a library book called "I Love My Bible" that she LOVED to read.  She remembered where on the page the verse "Children Obey your parents" was, etc.  

SO I ordered that book online for her as well as The Bible in Pictures for Toddlers.

I was extremely excited about that Bible in Pictures because the author also wrote Read Aloud Bible Stories, which are AMAZING.  Simple illustrations, and simple teaching of Bible stories.  My favorite is the one about Jesus healing blind Bartemaeus.  The climax of the story is not just that the guy can SEE after Jesus heals him, but that the best part about it was that he saw JESUS.  Blows my mind every time I read it, and it's a children's book!!

Well, I Love My Bible didn't come.  I got refunded at the last minute because their copy was damaged, and I am about to head to Barnes & Noble to try to find one there.  The Bible came, and I was reading a couple stories to Ariel and Judah because they were super interested.  Then, out of nowhere, we're reading the story of Moses and the burning bush, and this line comes out of nowhere:

"God doesn't speak out loud anymore."

HOLD ON.  Wait a minute.  Que en el mundo? 

The Bible doesn't say that.  So, don't teach it.  And don't write it in children's books.

I personally know people who have heard the audible voice of God.  It's real.  God speaks that way.

I'm still excited about the rest of the book, because the author is superbly talented and has totally been gifted by the Lord in putting things simply, in a way for children to understand, yet still packed with revelation.  Love her work.

Just that line, I can't get over it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Coat

I needed a winter coat.  Here is photo evidence of the fact:

Last winter:
The winter before that:


When you think of Annie, do you think of 4 years old, Big, Purple, and Poofy??  Ya, neither do I.  See, I needed a new coat.

Me and Black Friday became {somewhat} friends as I searched the sales.  All you people who say you can't stand the day: just wait 'till you get half off the winter coat you needed.  Back to my story.

I went shopping on Friday, tried on a couple coats and left not totally defeated, but not victorious either.  I kind of had to just face the facts:  I didn't have money for a coat.  As we drove away, I voiced my prayer for agreement from Suz: "Jesus, please provide for a coat!"  

Honestly, I was kind of only half-expecting it.  Jesus has been so incredibly good to me over and over again for the past five months.  He's provided, and has been kind in such tangible ways...  He's just done it over and over again -- and my flesh is so tempted to feel like I've used up the Jesus-being-good-points.  You know, like three times, you're out.  

Apprently, Jesus wanted to show me different.  In the mail the next day was a check...for more than enough to get whatever coat I wanted.  I've heard of people getting checks in the mail just in time, and now I've experienced it!

So, I went again on Sunday to choose a coat.  It must have been the day for people asking me what size I was, because it happened twice.  First, a lady was shopping for her daughter.  That one I understand, and I was happy to oblige.  The next instance was an older portly man who had been shopping for a fur coat as a gift.  As I checked myself out in the mirror in various coats, I caught him watching me in the mirror.  He saw me catch him and said "Pardon me if I'm watching you, but [and hold right there because "pardon me if I'm watching you" is no way to start a conversation] {he continues} I just bought a coat for my girlfriend and she has hair just like yours."  Oh, well then.  I smile kindly, and keep checking out my coat and wondering if it's creepy that he's watching me try on coats.  Then, he asks what size I am.  Apparently his girlfriend is: "A little smaller than you, but..."  Sheesh.

And THEN I turn around to find him right next me, holding the coat he just bought.  He goes: "Honey, you don't mind if..??" and holds the coat up to my head!  Apprently it matched my hair quite well, and he was pleased with his choice.  Congratulations, man.  I finished my shopping quickly and walked away.

The story continues...the store didn't have the size I needed, so I got the info and headed home to buy it online.  Foiled!  They don't have it online...  I call the store to find out if there are any locations close by that have my size...Oak Park Mall has ONE.  

I try to call and put it on hold, but no one answers.  I leave a message.

I then turn my play-games-to-celebrate-finishing-college-applications party with Katrina into a coat-shopping party.  Poor Daniel was willing to play games with us but not go buy a coat.  Sorry, dude!  The sale was ending that night.  What can I say?  =D

9:45pm -- We got to the store and the parking lot was deserted.  "It's open till 10!!  It's open, right?  It better be open!"

We get inside, find some sales ladies, and the search is on.  The situation is explained: "If we sold it today, it won't register in the computers until tomorrow, so when it says one it might actually mean none."  Prayers go up.  We search and search.  I find it!  YAY!!!

THEN, I got to pay for it.  I had a $25 off card to use if they would let me use my sister's Macy's card.  I had a really hard time deciding whether to just try it, or whether to explain the situation first and ask if I could use the card...I was afraid they would ask for id!  Can you imagine how awkward that would be?  "Um, sorry...this card isn't actually MINE."  

So, I explained and one of the ladies explains that no I can't use it.  At least she gives me a 10% off coupon.  She walks away.

The girl ringing me up says "You just HAD to ask in front of her!  I wouldn't even have asked!  I wouldn't have noticed!  But now, she's my boss, and now I can't do it..."  I liked that sales lady, she was nice and honest, even if I didn't get to use my $25 off card.

Then I was tempted to bang myself in the head, but instead told the Lord that it was His money in the first place, and He can afford the extra $25.  Really, He can.  

The end.  

Uh-Oh

Yesterday I dropped something down the drain. It was tragic. I tried to pull the stopper out (and did...uh-oh again) but my handy-dandy tool was lost forever. No, it wasn't a contact lens. (I hope that never happens to me...ugh. Once, my dad didn't have a case, and put his contacts in a spoon filled with water next to his bed, and somebody cleaned up the dishes and BAM his contacts were gone. moving on...)

I dropped the super-duper suction cup lens-removing thingamabobber. I'm glad that, in the process of research for this blog post, I found that you can order them online. I will be buying one pronto. Observe:

This little thing is so helpful. When I lost it, fear hit me as my contact life flashed before my eyes. Oh no! What if I can't get the contact out! (Which does happen sometimes...in fact, I'm sitting here writing with one contact in and one out, because I don't have this little handy-dandy tool, and was having trouble with a certain left eye contact that shall remain unnamed.)

I hoped I would just never run into a problem again (ha! here I sit with one contact in) Like, I used to not be able to get my contacts out AT ALL without this little suction tool, and then one night, it got locked in my mom's office at school, I didn't find out until the middle of the night when I needed it, and the Lord worked a semi-miracle, and I popped my lenses out for the first time (and then stored them in a prescription bottle). Voila!

All this to say, appreciate the one-inch suction tool. It's my friend.

NOTE: I have hard contact lenses. Sometimes, I wonder who ever invented them. Piece of plastic on your eye? What in the world!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yummy

Thanksgiving brings out the best in neighborhoods. Most years, I'm a hermit inside my house, occyupying myself with random things while waiting for the food...mashed potatoes has become my particular specialty (to make...and to eat, I guess).

This year, however, I had to drive back and forth to Lizzie's. I cooked potatoes there and baked a casserole and cleaned and fed the dog, etc. It takes about 1 minute, 46 seconds to get to Lizzie's house: no major streets, one stop sign (depending on which way you go) and a few cars parked on the side of the road. Yesterday, there were a LOT more cars, and they were all centered around particular houses. Warm, fuzzy feelings began rising up in me as I thought about so many people, gathered together around the country (and our neighborhood) for the sole purpose of being together (and maybe a little turkey). Think about it. Thanksgiving is one of the few days of the year where everyone feels the injustice of anyone not having a fwam of a turkey. No one is okay with someone being alone on Thanksgiving. Yep, you're getting warm fuzzy feeling now too, aren't you?

Our personal Thanksgiving was quite nice. We had Thanksgiving breakfast together at a hotel with Liz and Peter before they headed out to Minnesota.

getting ready to head out the door...no, she's not a superhuman four year old though we do think she's quite amazing...the angle just makes it LOOK like she's carrying baby.
eating it up...
then we played outside for a while.  Yes, Judah is wearing pink pants.  Glorie's pink pants, to be exact.  At least this time it's not a my-dad-got-me-dressed deal.  No, no.  Instead it's more of a bodily function that couldn't quite be contained in the diaper deal.  With no spare pants except girl cousin's pj's in the car.

just after this picture was taken, her 6'4" dad remarked how Glorie has now surpassed Judah in height...
OJ and Judah play...you can see the progression.  OJ hides...Judah runs in circles...
Then we cleaned and got ready and Pete came!  We love Pete.  We all got dressed up and took some family portraits.

they are a lovely family, are they not?
all of us...
this following is the best one of this particular group...even though it's blurry

Ariel was soooo excited about her Thanksgiving dress

Then we ate.  Suzy cooked an amazing meal...

the turkey and the boys
don't worry...that's sparkling grape juice getting poured into Judah's cup

And it was yummy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Another Peppermint Patty

You know what I haven't had yet this season?  A peppermint mocha.  Not that it's a tradition or anything, but when I think about it, it seems kind of wrong.  I've had the red cup, but not the pepperminty goodness.

What I have had, however, is peppermint patties.  You see, I've been working on college applications, and Liz happens to have a nice little stash of these other minty goodnesses in her cupboard, and when I just can't write one more sentence, I go break out the patty.  For a little inspiration, you know?

How are college applications going, you ask?  For the first time in a long time, you're about to get a positive answer.

Yes, sir, applications are actually going fine!  I have to more forms to do, and then I'm done!  Two!  Granted, one of those involves THREE small essays, but I am making progress.  Three supplements submitted with one more to go, then I just have to upload the final product of my main essay and submit that.

Almost there...almost there.  Please, someone have a party with me when this is over.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Family that Bakes Together Stays Together

Today Judah and I got some quality bonding time.  Suzy took Samuel and Ariel to the store (Thanksgiving, here we come!), and when Judah woke up, it was a party with Annie.  We hung out, had some yummy food, went on a walk, and baked a coffee cake.  About a week ago, Judah and I were about to bake said coffee cake when we were interrupted by visitors.  Today, Judah still remembered and wanted to bake, so we did!  Then we watched a movie, and he even wanted to sit next to me and put his head on my shoulder instead of sit on his dad's lap!  Talk about making me smile inside...not that he shouldn't be with OJ, but he LOVES his dad and pretty much never turns down an opportunity to be close to him.  I love my Judah...

Here's a cute-o picture of him from our walk:

And here's a couldn't-you-just-eat-him-up-'cause-he's-so-cute picture of Samuel.  Yes, you know you want to kiss his cheeks.
THANKSGIVING UPDATE: So, we thought it was going to be just us for Thanksgiving, but a friend of Suz and OJ's from Tacoma is thinking of coming!  WEEEEE!!!  He might not come, but he's wanting to and looking at tickets!  Come, Pete!  Come!

Monday, November 24, 2008

AAAAAHHHH!!

So, I just realized that my profile had my blog hidden...this means that when I commented on other Blogger blogs, and someone else saw my comment, then clicked on my name, it looked like I didn't have a blog!  So much possible traffic wasted!  Dear possible readers, PLEASE COME BACK!! I will comment and comment more, and now please click on my name and see hey!  she has a blog!

In other news, hello New York, New Orleans, and LONDON!  I am loving Google Analytics.

Only 3 Sleeps!

Yesterday morning on the way to church Ariel asked "How many sleeps until Thanksgiving??"  Well, dear little one, only four sleeps (three today) until we eat the yummiest food in all of America and celebrate being thankful and being pilgrims...  

Growing up, Thanksgiving was our big holiday.  We didn't do Christmas until I was about 9 or 10.  That's correct, people.  You read right: we didn't do Christmas. 

Or at least, not in the normal American-sense.  We didn't get a tree, we didn't give presents.  We DID praise the Lord that He was born and we DID have a big, yummy dinner (basically a second Thanksgiving, only with ham).

I remember the days of begging my dad for a tree...it probably included some sort of logic akin to: "Everybody else has one!"  "It'll be fun!"  "It'll help us be closer as a FAMILY!"  "We get to practice giving!"  "I REALLY want that Polly-pocket set!"  

You know, something like that.

No Christmas presents.  My brother's birthday is Dec. 23, and mine is Jan. 11, so it's all pretty crammed in there.  Finally, Dad caved, we ventured out on the then-foreign mission of picking a tree, and Christmas is now an established tradition in our family.  I think squeezing it in there was good to do before we started marrying into various other families, all of whom do Christmas. Even though we've started doing the presents (and everyone only gets two: we pick names so we don't all go bankrupt), my dad emphasizes every Christmas morning that it is all about JESUS.  The reason we celebrate is because in His kindness He took on a human body...something that should blow our minds every time we think about it.

Back to the subject of the particular way we celebrate the holiday: since there was no Christmas, Thanksgiving was our HUGE holiday.  It was when everyone came home, we had tons of other people over, Grandma got carried up the stairs by the men of the house (sometimes in her wheelchair, but we do have this precious picture of Sam, home from the Naval Academy, carrying little frail grandma in his arms up our stairs).  She always got the most comfortable chair, everyone dressed up, and we were thankful.  Thankful for each other, thankful for the holiday that forced everyone to come home for a few days, and mostly thankful for Jesus.  Our thanks usually turned to Him and what He'd been doing in our lives...and most often turned towards the fact that He came and the fact that He died...we were thankful for the freedom His cross brought in our lives.

The dawn of the McPeterHerd Christmas tradition has sadly meant the sunset of the set-in-stone Thanksgiving tradition.  Eventually, sisters had to spend holidays with their husbands' families.  People might have to plan on coming for Christmas, and miss Thanksgiving.  We started wearing jeans to dinner, even if make-up was freshened up and a pretty shirt put on.  

I thought last year was small, when Thanksgiving was my parents, me, and Amy (oh, and the Pakistani doctors...different story).  This year it's going to be even more secluded.

Elizabeth, Peter, and Glorie are headed to MN for dinner with Peter's family.  Mom, Dad, and foreign student Steve were going to be here, until Mom had an emergency appendectomy last night...so, it will be the McD's and me.  No matter who's there, the thanks will be the same, and I can assure you our words before we dig into the turkey will again reflect on the goodness and beauty of Christ.  (And Judah might throw in a little thanksgiving for goats...he likes to do that)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Videos of note

Raking, raking.  Ariel's the only one that got anything real done, but you know what?  Those other ones had fun!

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As with most videos of children doing normal things, this may only interest you if you're related to these cute-os.  (Hi, Aunt Mamy!)  Oh wait, I take that back.  No matter who you are, the fact that Judah's dancing outfit is his coonskin cap and Alligator Wellies will probably humor you.

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And lastly, this isn't really important but GUESS WHAT I SAW ON DRUDGE REPORT?  24!  24!  24, in case you don't know, was affected by that writer's strike that happened a while back.  The thing is, 24 can't start in the middle of a season because then it wouldn't be 24.  It would be 13, or 10, or even worse 8.5...maybe 60 minutes would have a special that ran a half hour extra and then things would REALLY be thrown off.  *In case you don't know, each season has 24 hours documented, real time.  It's quite riveting what can happen in 24 hours...bombs, hostages, guns, world wars...all in 24 hours*

DISCLAIMER: I have only watched one season of this show.  Well, one plus the few that got me hooked in the season before.  I don't really feel the need to watch another season...I had my 24 experience and it's done.  Plus, it's extremely violent and, though I can appreciate Jack Bauer's rival-of-Chuck-Norris status, he needs to learn how to not torture people.  Therefore, I really can't tell you whether it's okay to watch this show.  I won't be.

K, but here's the perplexing part.  They're doing a little two hour catch-up show before the real season starts in January.  Read the description from the website:
After sacrificing everything for his country, Jack Bauer is wanted by the U.S. government and now stands to lose the only thing he has left: his freedom. Working as a missionary in Africa, Bauer is called upon to stop a ruthless warlord from drafting innocent children into his murderous militia. First, Bauer must confront his own torturous past and face an impossible decision that will change his life forever. A decision that will set the stage and raise the stakes for Season Seven, which debuts in January 2009.
Did you catch the "working as a missionary" part?  (Remember the afore-mentioned torturing problem) .  Wait a minute...are they really going to make Jack Bauer a missionary, or have they decided to go ahead and re-define the word?  I mean Jack Bauer is nice and everything, but...preaching the gospel?  That'd be cool, and it does air on Fox, but...it would really surprise me if he's actually there with a church instead of just doing good things and being called a "missionary".   Strange that they chose that wording, methinks.

Tunes in my Ears

BREAKING NEWS
Just bought on iTunes...just added to my playlists.

I'm not big on sentimental K-love songs...but this one I really liked (I don't know if it even falls into that).  Anyways, it's encouraging.

Lion of Judah by Jason Upton

Fire.  Pure fire.
No one knows the hour.
No one knows the day.
Jesus is coming soon.
All creation trembles, longing for the day.
Jesus is coming soon
There will be judgment.
There will be mercy
On that terrible day
Leaders will bow down.
Kingdoms will fall down.
Have you felt your world begin to shake?

Hear the sound of the Lion of Judah
See the fire and the fear in the enemy's camp
From the sound of the lion of Judah roaring again
There's a new generation arising
A nameless, faceless, placeless tribe
All they fear is the fear of the Lord
All they hear is the Lion of Judah

Raise up an army!  Raise up an army!  Raise up an army like Joel saw!

This song brings it all out of me.  My heart just shouts to the Lord: "ME!  ME!  I'm part of that tribe!!"  There definitely is a generation rising.  Jesus is coming.  Everything else melts away in importance.

Outfitted

The kids love to dress up and dance. Glorie, now almost as soon as she gets to our house, wants to put on "preTTY Dwess!" and then insists that "lel-lel" (Ariel) put hers on too. Judah promptly runs to get his "dress-up" outfit...a coonskin cap and Alligator Wellies. Let the children dance.


Let them rake as well. Glorie shoveled, as you can see, but they had a blast and not one of them cared that it was so cold their noses were about to fall off.




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These kids have FUN.