I sure miss Calvin and Hobbs

These are going around on the e-mail, but I like 'em so much I am putting them here.

"that's enough TV, go play outside."
"I don't want to go outside!"

"Where are my glasses? I thought they were right here."
"Hmm, I put them down... I went to get my book... I told Calvin to shovel the walk..."
"Where could they be?"

"Calvin, I'm late for work"

"Eggplant casserole tonight?"
"Yes, Why?"

"On the other hand, the neighbors keep planting nice big trees next to us."

"Why does he have a hot water bottle on his head?"
"He's committing suicide."

"I don't think the schools assign enough homework."

"You have to admit it's slowed down the traffic on our road."

"Mom and Dad don't value hard work and origianlity as much as they say they do."

"Snow Sharks?"
"That guys a goner."

"First she says Go out. Now she says come in."



Matt 1:19-24
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a adream, saying, Joseph, thou son of bDavid, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the cHoly Ghost.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

I have been thinking of Joseph—that strong, silent, almost unknown man who must have been more worthy than any other mortal man to be the guiding foster father of the living Son of God. It was Joseph selected from among all men who would teach Jesus to work. It was Joseph who taught him the books of the Law. It was Joseph who, in the seclusion of the shop, helped him begin to understand who he was and ultimately what he was to become.

Joseph was the Christ child’s guardian. Though a humble carpenter, Joseph was of royal blood (see Matt. 1). If the kingdom of Judah had not been ruled by the Romans when Jesus was born, Joseph would have been king and Jesus would have inherited the throne—literally becoming King of the Jews (see Jesus the Christ, 87).


Mary Did You Know?

Thank You Big Brother!

My big brother got our computer back up and running after a nasty virus decided to take it over. The computer is running for now, but unfortunately Norton has already detected the virus still, but at least this time, was able to deal with it.
Again, Thank You Chris! We owe you BIG TIME!
(isn't it funny how reliant we can be to our computers - and especially the internet? I have felt so very lost with out being able to "look-up" whatever I want on a whim, whether it be a recipe, or how to spell a word that just looked funny when I wrote it on paper.)


Thomas and his Blanket

I was doing the Laundry and decided Thomas's beloved Blanket needed a wash.

Thomas loves to help me put the laundry into the washer. He grabs one peice at a time, and I pick him up to the washer and he throws it in. It takes longer to do laundry this way, but I love that he wants to help. At the very end, I snuck his blanket in. I didn't think he would miss it, since it would be done before nap time, but I was very wrong. He was devistated when I had to tell him that I had put it in the washer.

I had to actually hold him up to the washer, stop it, and swish around in the water to find the blanket to show him that it was OK. He tried to grab it, only to discover it was wet, and I think that shocked him even more, because his eyes got really big.
That was the longest wash cycle I have ever endured, LOL. As soon as it was done, I showed him I was putting it in the dryer, and I only put a few other things in with it, instead of the whole load, so it would dry faster.
So here he is after, with his beloved blanket. I told him it was "all clean" and he held it tightly and repeated "all clean" for days after.

I had to do another load of laundry, so I asked him if he wanted to help me again. This time, he grabbed his blanket protectivly and ran away.
So I guess I won't be getting anymore laundry help, from my little helper for a while.


Picture a Christmas

Picture a stable in Judea.
Picture a sacred, silent night.
And can you hear
The angels near
And see the star so bright?
Picture the little baby Jesus.
Think of his life and words so dear.
Sing praise to him;
Remember him,
As you picture Christmas this year.


What is Christmas?

What is Christmas?

Christmas is children. It is joy, excitement, and hope.

Christmas is remembering. It is a time to remember and show the love Jesus asked us to have for everyone.

Christmas is giving. Sometimes we give things. Other times we give service. President Monson said we “give to our Lord and Savior the gift of gratitude by living His teachings” (Ensign, Dec. 1998, 5).

Christmas is prophecy fulfilled. The angel declared, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

When Jesus Christ was born, a new star appeared. But not everyone understood what it meant. The Wise Men from the East knew what the star meant. They came to worship Jesus. We can be like the Wise Men. We can learn about Jesus Christ and follow Him.

What is Christmas? It is when we celebrate the gift our Heavenly Father gave to each of us: the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ. We can give thanks for this gift by showing through our example that we will always follow Him

(President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency: see “What Is Christmas?” Ensign, Dec. 1998, 2–5).(link)



His Name Shall Be Called...

For unto us a child is born, … and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).

George Frederic Handel set to work composing on August 22 in his little house on Brook Street in London. He grew absorbed in the work that he rarely left his room, hardly stopping to eat. Within six days part one was complete. In nine days more he had finished part two, and in another six, part three. The orchestration was completed in another two days. In all 260 pages of manuscript were filled in the remarkable short time of 24 days.
Sir Newman Flower, one of Handel’s many biographers, summed up the consensus of history: Consdering the immensity of the world, and the short time involved, it will remain, perhaps forever, the greatest feat in the whole history of music composition.” Handel’s title for the commissioned work was simply Messiah.
Handel never left his house for those three weeks.

This work has had an uncanny spiritual impact on the lives of its listeners. One writer has stated that Messiahs music and message “Has probably done more to convince thousands of man kind that there is a God about us than all the theological works ever written.”


A Christmas Letter

I wasn't sure what I wanted to blog about today, until someone shared this on ScrapJazz. I liked it, so I thought it was appropriate to pass it along.

Dear Children,
It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.
How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.
If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.
4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.
7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families
8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.
9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.
10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.
Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember : I LOVE YOU, JESUS


Legend of the Sand Dollar







Advent and Saint Nicholas

Saint Nikolaus - Germany

Quoted from: Saint Nicholas Center

"Advent is the time when Christians prepare to greet Christ—who came as a babe in a manger, who comes into our lives each day, and who will come again at the end of time. Advent is the time when people of faith are most at odds with the culture. The church calls people to focus on getting ready to receive Christ—preparing hearts and lives to make room for Jesus, to live as he would have us live.
How does St. Nicholas fit into all of this? He is an Advent saint because his December 6th feast day always falls in early Advent (Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas between November 27 and December 3). What he did, may not be as important as the way he did it. Nicholas became so popular because he was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. His life clearly reflected the way each one of us is called to show God's love to others, especially those in need.
Celebrating St. Nicholas on his day in Advent brings a bit of fun and festivity into homes, churches, and schools. His small treats and surprises help keep the spirit of good St. Nicholas, especially when stories of his goodness and kind deeds are told and ways to express his care for those in need are sought. Saint Nicholas helps us remember Christmas is a feast of love, hope, kindness and generosity. Yes, Nicholas is a good Advent saint."

I am more attracted to the idea of Saint Nicholas, as we saw in Europe. Today, Dec. 5, is the Eve of Saint Nicholas Day. I like that it is celebrated seperately from Christmas. There are still the fun things like leaving out stockings,boots, and treats for the donkey - and getting small surprizes and treats, but to me it seems on a smaller scale than Santa's big hurrah.

I liked these definitions of St. Nicholas and his Feast day:
"St. Nicholas showed us how to find Jesus in the poor, the oppressed and abused. He was devoted to charity, but charity always linked to justice."

"His stories, as lover of the poor and patron saint of children, complement the central message of the birth of Jesus by leading people to look beyond their own wants and desires."

"A simple St. Nicholas Day celebration adds a bit of welcome festivity in the early days of Advent. It provides an opportunity to tell the story of St. Nicholas, a man of faith whose goodness and generosity grew out of his love for God. It enriches our understanding of Santa Claus by showing the real historical person who inspired the familiar legend and traditions."

"Why Celebrate St. Nicholas Day?
* To tell the story of a Christian saint, whose model life inspires compassion and charity
* To reveal the true identity of Santa Claus and Father Christmas
* To focus on giving more than on receiving
* To emphasize small treats and family fun
* To provide a bit of special festivity early in the waiting weeks of Advent
* To offer a spiritual dimension to gift giving
* To help keep Jesus the center of Christmas"



So this is a question I have asked myself:
• How can our Christmas decorations add more to the spirit of Christmas?

If Christmas decorations are too time consuming and expensive, they can detract from the spirit of Christmas. If left to the last minute, they often add haste and confusion to Christmas observance.

As we plan our decorations, we can discuss the idea that traditional decorations can remind us of Jesus because of their symbolism. For example:
Decoration ================ symbolism
Candy canes.... = ... shepherds staff
Green/Evergreen tree.... = ... eternal life - and hope
wreaths.... = ... eternal life - circle has no begining and no end
holly wreath.... = ... the crown of thorns
red holly berries/decorations... = ... the blood of Christ
lights/candles.... = ... the star
bells.... = ... sheep bells
gifts.... = ... the wise men

Click on this link to read the story "Teach the Children" about Santa asking us to share the true meaning of the symbols of Christmas.

Decorating the Tree

Thomas and I went to Newton, the other day, to help Mom and Shelly decorate the Christmas tree. I loved unpacking all of Mom's great decorations, many of which were collected while we lived in Europe. Many memories flowed thru my mind of our Christmas together with our family. I want to express my gratitude to my parents for their wonderful examples and teaching us the true meaning of Christmas.


Christmas Devotional

Last night was the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional
(you can watch it on that link)

During the Christmas season, 10 acres in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City sparkle with millions of lights, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings for 100,000 people and a Christmas devotional was broadcast throughout the world from the Conference Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — all to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Link

LDS Devotional Features Christmas Music and Messages
December 2nd, 2007
(KSL News) Christmas music and messages came from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tonight.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed carols of the season during the annual First Presidency Christmas Devotional.
The meeting originated from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City and was broadcast by satellite to church meetinghouses throughout the world.
Church leaders told Latter-day Saints that this is a time to pause and reflect about the life of Jesus Christ.
President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, said, "And so we celebrate a sacred birth, a glorious dawn. There is still darkness and cruelty in the world, yet there is the light and the love."
First Counselor Thomas S. Monson said, "Christmas continues, sacred and unchanged. This is because of the source of the special spirit that we feel, even our savior, Jesus Christ."
And Church President Gordon B. Hinckley told the audience, "I have felt to lift my voice with the voice of the heavenly hosts who sang that first Christmas Eve, proclaiming that most glorious event, the birth of the son of God, the Savior."
President Hinckley encouraged Latter-day Saints to be generous with their time and talents during this holiday season.

The carols sung by the choir were beautiful, and the orchestra was wonderful.
The message that really touched my heart was from President Hinkley. He said that if everyone was treated with as much kindness as he was, the world would be a better place.

And the quote that really stuck with me was, instead of "Merry Christmas" we are really saying "It's Christmas time. What can I do to help you? How can I make your burden lighter."that is what I hope to focus on this Christmas season.


The Stranger

At Christmas time, there was a man, who looked so out of place
As people rushed about him, at a hurried pace.
He stared at all the Christmas lights, the tinsel everywhere
The shopping center Santa Claus, with children gathered near.

The Mall was packed with shoppers who were going to and fro,
Some with smiles, and some with frowns, and some too tired to go.
They rested on the benches or they hurried on their way
To parties, fun and food galore, and gifts exchanged that day.

“I’d like to know what’s going on,” the man was heard to say.
“There seems to be some sort of celebration on the way,
And would you tell me who this is, all dressed in red and white?
And why are children asking him about a special night?”

The answer came in disbelief, “I can’t believe my ears!
I can’t believe you do not know that Christmas time is here.
The time when Santa comes around with gifts for girls and boys
When they’re asleep on Christmas Eve, he leaves them books and toys.

“The man you see in red and white is Santa Claus, so sly.
The children love his joyful laugh and twinkle in his eye.
His gift packed sleigh is pulled along by very small reindeer,
As he flies quickly through the air, while darting here and there.

“The children learn of Santa Claus while they are quite small.
When Christmas comes, he is the most important one of all.”

The stranger hung his head in shame, he closed a nail-pierced hand.
His body shook in disbelief, he did not understand.
A shadow crossed his stricken face, his voice was low but clear.
“After all these years, they still don’t know.”
And Jesus shed a tear.

Plan to Put Christ in the Center of the Christmas Season

People have been shocked when I tell them that I do not plan to teach Thomas about Santa. For me, Santa epitomizes the commercialization of the Christmas season. It's not that santa is bad or anything, I just choose to focus on something else. So this year I plan to post on the blog, the things I am focusing on for the day, to remind me of the Reson of the Season. I hope you will enjoy it too!
Merry Christmas!


25 days til Christmas

“If Christmas could just happen without so much bother.”
“I can’t wait to see what I get.”
“By the time Christmas arrives I am so exhausted I hardly feel anything but relief.”
Many of us—adults and children—go through the whole holiday season with thoughts like these foremost in our minds. How many times have you had such feelings or thoughts yourself?
But Christmas is actually one of the most sacred of holidays, and enjoying its true spirit, which is the Spirit of Christ, can bring us closer to the Savior.
Here is a compiled a list of activities to do that can help us look beyond ourselves and they are simple to do.
Beginning December 1, choose one of the activities from the list. Each day complete another activity. Some are geared towards children, but adults can do them as well.

Activities List
Help do the dishes when it isn’t your turn.
Send or give a Christmas card to a missionary.
Take a surprise to a special friend.
Thank your Primary teacher for being your teacher.
Clean your room without being asked.
Write or draw a thank-you note.
Secretly help someone in your family.
Telephone or visit grandparents or other relatives.
Go caroling with friends or family.
Check that your bench in sacrament meeting is clean when you leave.
Let someone else have the first turn or the first choice.
Tell someone that he/she is special.
Give someone a hug.
Ignore a rude comment.
Shovel the snow.
Make cookies for someone.
Be the first to say Merry Chistmas
Admit when you are wrong.
Take dinner to a family in need.
Send someone a letter of encouragement.
Offer to baby sit for free.
Read to someone who is sick.
Organize grandparents photos.
Run errands for the elderly.
Do the twelve days of Christmas for a neighbor.
Be generous with compliments.

These can help you strengthen yourself as well
Try hard to choose the right all day
Sing your favorite Christmas song.
Remember to think about the Savior’s life and sacrifice during the sacrament.
Read or have someone tell you the story found in 3 Nephi 1:1–19
Write your testimony of Jesus Christ in your journal.
List all the things you are grateful for.
Be the one to encourage FHE, family prayer, and scripture reading.