When I grow up....

I want to be one of those vibrant older ladies still involved in the community! Loved watching the "Church Basement Ladies" show tonight and the fact that all but one of the actresses were older than me and I think I might have even been the youngest person in the audience! LOL ....   I really want to be one of those women who laugh, are still active and vital, not complaining about how old they are or what hurts but getting on with it.... I so appreciate the women God has allowed in my life who exemplify that! Ladies I know from PWOC (my Margarets!) who are still busy about the work of ministering to others, using the hard things they've walked through to help others and doing it with Joy; ladies in our church who are still active Grandma's, willing to help raise teens when Mom and Dad need help, still on adventures around the world  and praising the Lord for it ...... who've learned to love their children well while letting them go... who aren't moving any slower just cause they're older, and aren't about to either ......

yep, that's what I want to be when I grow up!


Today's the last day for the blog carnival at Wives of Faith ... and the topic for today is "How does your faith refresh at Christmastime?"....
   Honestly this has been a hard one for me today, it's been one of those days where I just feel overwhelmed, lonely and wondering if anything I do matters or makes a difference to anyone, where I couldn't stop crying half the day! You have those too? (I hope)
  Webster's 1828 dictionary defines refresh as:  To give new strength to; to invigorate; to relieve after fatigue; as, to refresh the body. A man or a beast is refreshed by food and rest; To revive what is drooping; as, rain refreshes the plants.
 I'm not really sure how Christmas refreshes my faith I suppose but one thing I particularly find meaning in that brings quiet and comfort to my heart is the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service - because the whole thing is dedicated to the real meaning of Christmas, the quietness of the service and the lighting of candles and passing of the flame from one to another , the way the light can grow from one simple candle to light up a room just truly refreshes me, in the time of contemplating the fact that Christ came knowing He was headed to the cross.... (see my post on what Christmas means to me) that He could love me that much ...
   Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth! ...Psalm 46:10

You Might be a Military Wife at Christmas if.......

                                                      1..you have any camoflauge, yellow ribbons, military vehicles/emblems/slogans or red white and blue ornaments anywhere in your decorating scheme.

2. ... you are waiting to talk to your hubby on skype Christmas morning/phone call/other technology wives didn't have 20 years ago because he's in another country

3.. ..home for Christmas means where you live now not where you were raised

4..... you've ever spent Christmas in guest housing/lodging/billeting and decorated the room!

5.... Christmas season was the same as PCS season at least once in your marriage

6... your children know that things aren't as important as who you're with

7 .... family time at Christmas means you, hubby and children because he wasn't home last year

8... you've mailed a Christmas tree and ornaments downrange

9... you've received presents from another culture/country

10 ... your family traditions are a mixture from different duty stations (tamales Christmas eve from the Southwest, Weinacht's Pyramids and Gluhwein from Germany, St. Nicholas Day, Desert themed items,etc...)

11.... you  read the Soldier's Night Before Christmas book and understand all the terms

12 ... you've eaten at the DFAC cause you didn't want to cook, it's reasonable and you could be with other loved military families that day

13.... you've gone on "holiday home tours" just to see what the inside of the General's/ Base Commander's  house looks like!

14... Christmas Eve Service means dressing up and guys in dress uniforms

15 .... sometimes you wonder if anyone remembers the family's as they go about their Christmas times and it's irritating when they ask about hubby but not you yet you're not sure they really want to hear everything if they ask so you just say "fine".

16 ...  coupons for dinner once a week with friends would make an awesome stocking stuffer!

17 ...  you know civilians don't "know how you do it" and frankly neither do you but you wouldn't trade this life for anything!

18 ... you've braved the midnight sales at the PX/BX/NEX for that one special item

19 ... you've posted an add in the newspaper with your honey's picture and a message just for him

20 .... you have no idea what he wants/needs for Christmas so a sexy picture of you will have to do ....

21... you've ever sent out military themed baby announcements "Our New Recruit..." etc

22... you've ever held Christmas for just a few days cause Dad will be home by then

23... the best Christmas present was when he showed up unannounced on Christmas Eve

24.... you know exactly where all the Christmas decorations are, the breaker box and how to hang lights,etc but that doesn't mean you want to cause it's just one more reminder he's not home... but you do it anyway!

25 ... you've ever spray painted little green plastic Army men gold in order to make them ornaments for the tree in your boy's room

26.... God has given you the gift of understanding just a little better what it means to sacrifice someone you love for someone else's good...

(of course there's more and I could go on but ..... check out others lists at Wives of Faith Christmas Blog Carnival)


What Christmas Means to me....

Today's topic for the Wives of Faith Blog carnival..... oh my! I've been mulling this over all day and I've gotta tell you some of the other ladies have fabulous posts! But as I've been reading them and trying to distill what Christmas means to me I think it comes down to one word .... LOVE.

A word often misused in our culture today, we love ice cream, we love certain TV shows and we love our husbands. But Christmas is about Love in it's truest sense! The Love that willingly gives to another to make them happy -- hence the search for that perfect gift that will, if only for a moment, make that particular person radiate with joy. Love that wants the best for others even if costs a lot - our time, treasures and money. Love that sees needs and trys however feebly to meet them -- one of our family traditions is packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and praying they will bless the recipients (OK so maybe it started out as a way to get my kids to be grateful as well but hey if you can meet needs and teach lessons at the same time - why not?). Love that grants peace to those around us -- the attempts to quell bickering even if just for that day, stories of cease fires in war time,etc or even just the quietness of kids tucked up into bed and no lights on but the tree. The Kindness of strangers to one another for even but a season, people who say Merry Christmas to each other on the street who might otherwise never speak, open homes, soldiers adopted for meals, etc.  I "love" Christmas eve candlelight services or midnight mass for their reminders of what is important and the light that Love so long ago sent with a whisper of hope into a dark world (one of my favorite memories is singing "Silent Night" in German around the outside Christmas tree at our chapel service in Germany).  All the pretty packages, bows, ribbons, baking, singing, and twinkling lights come down to this....
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. .... John 3:16, Amplified

We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first ... 1John 4:19 The Message

Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.  Instead He emptied Himself  by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross ...Phillip. 2:5-8, HCSB

Only true Love would sacrifice itself for another, there would be no reason to celebrate Christmas without the Resurrection. Even if the world can't or won't acknowledge it, even when they deny and defame they can not stop Love, oh yes I know all about the pagan roots of this particular day on the calendar and the fact that Christ was most likely born sometime in Sept/Oct during Succot  but nevertheless .. This is what Christmas means to me and what I have tried to teach my children...... Read other's thought on what Christmas means to them  here by scrolling to comments and clicking on the links!


This subject comes up often and I confess I've probably applied it poorly at times, funny thing is my 18yo beautiful daughter is the one who reminds me the most "that's not good OPSEC Mom" .... hmm, guess those AFN commercials in Germany actually work! :) I have been agahst at times with what I've seen though so as a reminder to myself and many of my friends I send you to this page by Household 6 Diva who has already written a great article/thoughts on the subject ... so really, why reinvent the wheel! Thanks Diva!!

Deployment Goals...

So for this deployment here are my goals:
  1. Blog at least twice a week
  2. Exercise 3 times a week
  3. Daily Prayer and Bible Study
  4. Set a resonable schedule and get in a good routine
  5. Get my Prayer Journal organized and use it see (see # 3 above)
  6. Scrapbook (hopefully finish one or two -- big goal would be to catch up but don't hold your breath!)
  7. Lose at least 50 lbs (preferably more)/Eat Better (see #2)
  8. Save at least $1500-$2000
  9. Pay off as much debt as possible
  10. Spend tax return wisely (new Mattress from Marriot here I come! Ours is 18years old and there's dip in the middle from Tim being gone so much!)
  11. Make a book and Dvd list and work through it
Let me know what you think!

Here we go/are again!

For those of you who don't know we are once again in the middle of a deployment! :) Go round #4 in Iraq and #6 overall of year or longer seperations (can I get an Atta Girl bracelt  out of this please?! Tim says do you know how much that would cost? ok so one link at a time dear one link at a time...). Timothy is in one of the new "assist and advise" brigades that are to be the last large groups sent to Iraq (name change that's all) ... rather ironic actually as he was in the 1st large group sent over! While this is not our first choice (duh) I am still excited to see what God has for us this year......

(Jessica fits in Dad's new duffle! She so wanted Tim to "pack" her so she could move/jump out and scare the guys packing bags on the truck! LOL... and middle is relative Tim left in Nov...fyi)

Grown up Christmas List ....

Day 4 of the Wives of Faith Blog Carnival:

Today's topic: A grown up Christmas list based on the song by Amy Grant, here's a reminder of what the song says:

What do I really wish for this Christmas... funny we just watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" last night and while they never mention the real reason for Christmas they do point out our excess and how we get so caught up in wishing for things instead of enjoying those around us and the true spirit of Christmas -- which I would argue of course is God Himself and the unfathomnable gift He gave us so long ago - the baby born to save the world, I can not imagine such love -- but I digress.....

1. Gods Will be done and His kingdom advance, and we would catch a glimpse of that bigger picture and our part in it
2. Gods tangible presence with each and every person away from loved ones this year and a true sense of HIS purpose and plans which include this Holiday season apart (sometimes again!)
3. Every child would feel the arms of God wrapped around them in exactly what they need -- food, love,clothing,etc.
4. Healing in my extended family relationships and for others who need that as well
5. Everyone who's lonely would feel loved and appreciated
6. Godly, loving spouses for each of my children and continued healing in our marriage

Of course I could go on with our own needs and wants (financial, etc) but I think that'll do for now....check out more lists at : Wives of Faith

The Worst Christmas Song Ever...

this is the topic on day 3 for the Wives of Faith Blog Carnival I'm participating in... hmmm... I've been mulling this over all day and I honestly can't come up with one particular Christmas song I hate! LOL ... several have been suggested by other bloggers and while I can see their points I still come up with - nope. (although searching for santa on you tube brings up some intersting items!) Although I have to say as I've been typing this one which my 16 year old son just thinks is hilarous and I hate would have to be " The Night Santa went Crazy" by Weird Al Yankovic - nuff said? blech... just .... so now a redeeming quality? hmmm it's a catchy tune? Everyone wants to be appreciated for their work, even Santa. My apologies.... here it is

But I do like this one by Paul Overstreet "How do I wrap my Heart up for Christmas"this is texas swing so if you don't care for steel guitar or fiddles you might want to skip it ;) Joey and Rory have this one too

and anything by George Strait! LOL ...

Yeah I figured out how to add the videos!! (http://www.wivesoffaith.org/christmas-carnival-day-3)

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas....

Without Linzer Star Cookies/HelgaPlatz! (we use a different shaped cutter but you get the idea, ours is more like the stars you see over the manger on Christmas cards). My German neighbor, Sabine, taught me to make these the first Christmas we were at Fort Benning Georgia -- which was our first real Christmas in our own home as well. Ever since then, no matter where we live we've made these cookies every Christmas- ok except the two we were in transit but still...!! I've looked up recipes before and none are quite like the ones we make -- paper thin before sandwiching, buttery and crisp; they taste better after sitting a day or so too!
My girls love to help roll out the dough, cut and bake til barely golden, any longer and they get to crisp and fall apart, then fill with just enough red currant jelly to fill the "hole" but not ooze everywhere then dust with powdered sugar (cherry or raspberry have filled in if we can't find currant but they're not quite the same!). Every year we make cookies for our neighbors and friends, wrap them in cellophane and attach an ornament or card and these MUST be included!
Time, money and labor intensive but worth every bite and every memory!

(umm ok so after reading many of the others posts in the carnival everyone talks about Christ, their husbands and kiddos and I feel sheepish talking about our cookies but these are givens for me - Christmas just wouldn't even exist without Jesus --yeah yeah I know the pagan part would but not the reality of the Cross, that baby didn't stay in the manager! Praise be to God!; Hubby isn't here again this year but Christmas goes on, and my kiddos - well I can't wait til they're all home and noisy again! :) and so ya get the cookies....sorry! LOL)http://www.wivesoffaith.org/christmas-carnival-day-2

Maytag Corporation

Founded in Newton, Iowa, by F. L. Maytag in 1893, the Maytag Company began as a manufacturer of farm tools. The company’s sales pattern reflected the seasonal nature of farming, so Maytag looked for a new product line that would be less susceptible to fluctuations in demand. In 1907, Maytag produced its first washing machine, a manual model. Maytag soon began to develop a line of washing machines, launching its first electric washing machine in 1911 and, in 1915, a washer powered by gasoline for homes without electricity. By the mid-1920s, Maytag had a 20 percent share of the U.S. washing machine market.

After World War II, Maytag diversified into the production of other white goods (stoves, washing machines, and refrigerators). Although Maytag continued to have a healthy share of the washingmachine market, its strategy seems to have been based on gaining a reputation for reliability rather than innovation. Its first automatic washing machines hit the market in 1948, ten years after these machines first appeared. Five years later, it added automatic clothes dryers to its product line. Maytag was also slow to move into the dishwasher market, introducing its first countertop dishwashers in 1966. Maytag did achieve an industry first in 1985, with the introduction of a stacking washer and dryer.

Tea bag sales

Tea bag sales now dominate the market and offer improved blends and convenience, including “onecup” bags. Despite this, a restyled and electronically more sophisticated Teasmade remains in production today. Swan also produces a model where the kettle and pot are hidden behind a panel that can accommodate a family photograph. The U.S. Chef’s Choice Company also produces the TeaMate, an appliance that looks similar to a coffee percolator. Based on the samovar method, it steams the tealeaves and then introduces boiled water to create a concentrate that is blended with the rest of the water.