Friday, November 28, 2008

A Memory...

...from Thanksgiving past:

When D and I were in our first year of seminary, we stayed in TX for the big Feast and invited some seminary friends to eat with us. This was a really big deal for us as we had always travelled back to family for this occasion and the new friendships we had made thus far were still, well, new.

With great confidence I bought the turkey several weeks in advance. I had never prepared one before, nor had I ever paid the least bit of attention to anyone else's preparation of one, and so I figured it would be wise to have all the shopping done nice and early. It was a fresh turkey, by the way. Fresh turkeys do not stay fresh for several weeks in advance of the Feast. Fresh turkeys that aren't fresh tend to make this fact known in dreadfully unmistakeable ways!! Lucky for me, the local WalMart had also made a mistake with my fresh turkey. The buy date had been mislabelled as if it were frozen and so we were able to trade in the nasty bird for a non-nasty bird.

My confidence that I could actually prepare an edible Feast was a bit shaken by this drama, not helped at all by the disgusted look on the face of the butcher at the WalMart, but I wasn't going to give up. Thursday morning I popped the new turkey in the oven, tucked neatly into its little turkey-baking bag, and I went on with my other preparations. The guests arrived and we all were enjoying conversation over appetizers, when little D decided to check out how the turkey was doing. He peeked in the oven, and in a voice that only a 5 year old boy can possess when you least want him to, he said, "What the h--l is that"! You could have heard the proverbial pin drop.

We were thankfully amongst true friends that day who at least pretended like they believed us when we insisted that we really don't talk like that in our home and we had no idea where he learned it, etc.

...from Thanksgiving present:

C and J were helping me clean in preparation for the company Thursday morning. It was so nice to have their help as I once again prepared the whole meal (only with a frozen turkey this time). As she dusted around my big pumpkin flavored candle which I have enjoyed the past few Thanksgivings, J asked: "Can we light the stinky candle today"? Oh! Wow! Maybe not everyone is as crazy about it as I am!

D and I laugh over that fresh turkey/cussing incident every Thanksgiving and this year, the re-telling of it was just as funny as always. I am somewhat amazed that another Thanksgiving has come and gone with yet another memory to add to the others.

And I pray that my heart will choose to remain very aware of all that I have to be thankful for. Thankful for the memories from the past, the blessings that are in the present, and the hope of the future that God has in store for our family!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reindeer Games

I know, I isn't even Thanksgiving yet, for which I am very thankful! I am cooking The Meal for everyone this year which is a little scary, but actually isn't the point of this blog post. I may post about that topic next week. (:

Back to reindeer games! Each year D and I host a couple of Christmas parties, one work related and the other with a group of friends. And each year I search and struggle to come up with fresh ideas for entertainment. This last week, after logging in several hours worth of internet research looking for fun Christmas games, I finally got smart. I made up a list of 9 games that were the best of what I found out there so that next year this process will hopefully be a little easier for me. Some of them are old classics but with new twists and others I had not heard of before.

Below is the list numbered in no particular order, and if you are interested in any of them for your own parties just drop me a line and I will forward the instructions to you. If you happen to know of any other games not listed below, I would LOVE to hear about them!! I plan on adding to the list each year as I hear more fun ideas.

My List of Christmas Party Game Ideas:

1. Right/Left Christmas Game Nativity Story (gift exchange)

2. A Crazy Christmas Scavenger Hunt (prizes to winners)

3. Gift Exchange/Guessing Identity Game

4. Christmas Memory Game (prizes to winners)

5. Mystery Auction (prizes to winners or gift exchange)

6. Christmas Feud Survey Results (prizes to winners)

7. "Are you ready for Christmas?" (prizes to winners; ladies luncheon type thing)

8. Christmas Gift/Name Bingo (prizes to winners)

9. Classic White Elephant/Dirty Santa with New Twists (gift exchange)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

An Update on the Adventure

On October 10th, I posted about a new adventure God was was giving to me. On November 4th, a holiday from school for all my kids, I went through the training to be a substitute special ed. para-professional.

From my viewpoint:
I had to spend a day away from my kids to be trained for a job that was supposed to keep me on the same hours as my kids schedules. Immediately following the training, two of my kids had dentist appointments at the same time as the dr. appt for M who had a mysterious illness pop up that morning, J had gymnastics, and I still had to vote. Crazy!!! Could I possibly have heard God correctly on all this?

God's plan revealed:
What a strange "coincidence" to run into two women from our church also coming for the training. I got to spend time with them in a way I could never have dreamed up had I tried on my own strength. And all the other things fell into place like it was all part of a plan.

From my viewpoint:
I left the training a little discouraged that I may not get so many opportunities to actually work this new job. I was one of 20 women in the room which came as a huge shock as in the past they have been desperate to find subs for this position. Probably half of them had held this position before and were just returning for an update of information. And so, I rationalized to myself, it was really just as well to have a little bit of time to assimilate all the information and I was going to have to take D to the airport on Thursday morning anyways and my life is really quite full with plenty of things right now. It was good that I wouldn't probably get a call for awhile.

God's plan revealed:
On my way home from the airport this morning I got a call asking if I could come in as soon as possible today and also tomorrow. Amazing...

From my viewpoint: I showed up ready for action (read: prayed up and ready as I possibly could be) and was informed by one of the para-educators working with another child that the little girl I was assigned to often cried and to not be surprised if she pushed me away. Another lady confirmed this saying as soon as she would walk in the room the girl would run. A little daunting for my first go round.

God's plan revealed:
I walked in the room and the Special Ed. teacher introduced me to the class as K.'s helper for the day. I sat down in back of the mass of children who were having story time and K. immediately stood up, smiled at me and sat next to me. I had a great afternoon with her! Such an immediate connection was so confirming that God IS at work and I AM on track with what He has for me right now. And I must say, I really like looking back and seeing things from His vantage point rather then my own!!!