Sunday, December 19, 2004

Breakfast With Santa!

Last Thursday, the local Golden Corral hosted breakfast with Santa! Stephen's class was invited, and we had the entire restaurant to ourselves! The kids had a blast! We all ate pancakes, sausage, eggs and bacon till our tummies were content. Every child sat on Santa's knee and gave him their lists of Christmas wishes and whispered into his ear what they want most this year. We told Stephen the night before that it doesn't matter that he couldn't talk or write to Santa, because Santa knows everything. He knows when you're sleeping and when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good. He understands the language of those unable to speak. The language of the heart is universal.

Just like me when I was a little girl, he is a skeptic. Stephen just had to pull on the old beard. The child does this every year. Fortunately, this Santa saw it coming and grabbed onto his beard before Stephen got a good hold on it. He quickly reached into his bag of goodies and gave Stephen a red felt stocking, filled with candy and pencils. Stephen wasn't really interested. He wanted to reveal the man behind the beard to all of his classmates. The jolly old man rushed him from his lap and said his, "Ho,Ho,Ho's" before Stephen had a second opportunity to yank the beard. 

Quickly, Stephen's teacher took him by the hand and guided him to visit the face painting elf. A few minutes later, he returned to us with a perfect snowman on his left cheek. How he was able to sit still for that elf and have his cheek painted is beyond me. You should see me trying to cut the hair of a moving target. Maybe I should buy an elf costume?

I hope you all are having a nice winter break so far! We have been very busy and probably will stay that way until after Christmas. I have photo's of my goddaughter's wedding [yesterday] to show off soon. I still haven't sized them down for uploading to aol yet. I will do so as soon as I have time.

Y'all take care!

Monday, December 13, 2004

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year ...

Or, at least it smells like it.

Today when I got Stephen off of the bus, he couldn't wait to get in the door. The aroma of Amish Friendship Bread was in the cool, crisp air. Mmmm, and it was coming from my kitchen!  I only bake this bread for the holidays. It takes 10 days from start to finish. That is one reason why I only do this once a year. The starter keeps well in the freezer, and I accidentally threw mine out this past summer. I was so upset when I realized this. Do you have any idea how many recipes there are for starters? Furthermore, have you any idea how bad some of them are? I've tried many of them, and the only one I truly love is the one my friend, Susy gave me the first year I made it. Thank goodness, she and my cousin Beverly still had copies of the original recipe and 10 days ago, I mixed all the milk, sugar and flour together and then added yeast to it just to see how it would go and, voila! Just like my first starter arrived, 5 years ago!

This is what Stephen's teachers are getting for Christmas, along with some other goodies and candy. I hope he scores some major brownie points! ;P

Uh, oh ...There's only one problem ... I ate half a loaf and I don't feel so good. Did I mention, it's really rich and sweet?

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Love And War

Some of you may be wondering, "Where the heck are they? Why haven't we seen an update?"

Several reasons, actually.

I've told this story so many times, I'll tell you the truth, I don't want to write it again, so I'll copy and paste the e-mail that I sent to a local Christian radio station, who read my plea on the air, and I thank them very much for doing so. I would also like to add right here in my public journal, the response from the Birmingham, Alabama Christian community was not overwhelming or even adequate, in my humble opinion. Yes, I am aware it's Christmas. I'll also ask, speaking of which, "What would Jesus do?" Here is part one of this story:

The E-mail that I sent to several friends, family members and the local Christian radio station:

I'm calling on everyone I know who might have "connections" in the area to help my goddaughter, Alicia and her fiance, Matthew. Here's the situation:

My best friend's daughter and her fiance were going to have a nice, long engagement. That was wonderful, we had plenty of time to plan this wedding. However, her fiance is now going to Afghanistan, January 3rd.  :( 

As you can understand, they really want to be married before he goes overseas. They have moved the wedding date to December 18th. There is literally no room at the Inn for these two kids. [I mean, this soldier and his bride.] Everyone we've checked with is booked that night with Christmas parties. They will most likely be married at the small church of her grandparents, but it's too small to handle the reception. They don't need a very large place, just something big enough for about 60 guests. If you know of a church with a reception hall in the Shelby County area, [available that night] that would be great too! But ... any community center, etc., in the area would be fine for the reception.

In closing, I want to ask you all for your prayers. Matthew is a brave young man, putting his own life on hold to help others in their time of need. Please, join me in prayer for his safe return.

Thanks!

The good news is, they found a church and reception hall very close to their town, and the wedding is set for next Saturday at 1:00 in the afternoon. The church is having a Christmas program that evening, so we have to have it cleaned up and be out ofthere by 4:30 or 5:00. Not easy, but also not impossible.  There will be many of us, we can do it. Unless I am mistaken, [correct me if I am wrong, Beth] We had no offers from the radio station audience. However, almost every single church I drive by in my community has the same billboard: "We Support Our Troops" I honestly thought I'd witness more patriotism. How very sad. My cousin has a close friend who is a pastor's wife, and this couple offered their church, reception hall and the pastor's services. So if you're wondering if my faith in my fellow Christian[s] has been destroyed, the answer is NO, is hasn't. But I won't hesitate to say, it has been shaken, a little. A reminder; the Christmas season is about Jesus, not us. Most certainly, not about "things." I believe He still listens and He has room for those who call upon him. Wise men, still seek him.

Lesson learned this week: People [even those who share your faith] will let you down. God will not.

You all know that it's seldom I discuss my religious or political beliefs in my journal and I try to keep things lighthearted around here, but sometimes, things weigh very heavy on my heart. This is one of those occasions.

I am now going to ask those of you who pray, to please pray for my goddaughter and her soon-to-be groom. I Pray for them, a long and happy life together. May they always be as in love as they are today. I pray too that God will keep Matt safe while he serves in Afghanistan. I hope the next year and a half passes by quickly for them, so they can start their new life together.  ...Amen...

 

Sorry, I had to edit. Also I wanted to add that I forgot to tell you everything else that's been going on and next week is going to be the busiest week I've had in a long time. But it will be in a good way. Winter break begins after December 17th. I'll have Stephen to care for and enjoy, 24/7 until January. I will [try] to update on our latest happenings soon. Stay tuned for photos from Breakfast with Santa coming next week. Stephen has quite a week ahead of him too! Have a happy weekend!