Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another Book Club Option...

Or...Maybe we will read When the Last Leaf Falls
by Bill Myers....

Oh My...decisions, decisions, decisions...

I have just begun reading it and WOW!

Intense and so true...the emotions and experiences
of a Pastor's Family in Crisis.

Being a PK there are so many things I recognize already.
Living life in a fishbowl.
The honesty of struggles and questions about our faith...

Pain of loss.

Ever leaning on Faith even when it doesn't seem to make

Hmmm....this could be a great option...

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Balance...Harder than it seems

I am behind on picking out a book for January's book Club read.
It seemed so far away since we skipped December....

There are gobs of books we would like to read, the problem comes
in when it comes to money to buy books. This is not something many
of us in the club are willing to do each month so I am trying to find
books that the library has at least ten copies of.

This gets interesting.

Now, I needed something that is a quick read since we will only have
a couple of weeks to get it read.
I think I found it!
This book is called The Ultimate Gift.
The author is Jim Stovall.
It is about the Last Will and Testament of a very wealthy man
and how it relates to his Great Nephew. It goes through twelve
aspects of life and their relevance to making us who we are, both spiritually and generally speaking.

1. The Gift of Work
2. The Gift of Money
3. The Gift of Friends
4. The Gift of Learning
5. The Gift of Problems
6. The Gift of Family
7. The Gift of Laughter
8. The Gift of Dreams
9. The Gift of Giving
10. The Gift of Gratitude
11. The Gift of a Day
12. The Gift of Love

This is a great read for heading into a New Year, as we are all interested in making this year better than the one before.

As I read this book, I think about how if I had all of these things in balance in my life, how great that would be!

Since that is not likely to happen completely, I can at least strive for that goal.

We are all granted giftings that are stronger in one area than another. This is a good thing. Our idiosyncrasies make the world a more interesting place.

When I was a teenager I read the Reader's Digest Condensed Version of The Stepford Wives...freaked me out! But can you imagine a world where we were each the same. Perfect housekeepers, always dressed perfectly but without the ability to do things to better ourselves because we chose to? I cannot. I need my friends who are better at some things than I am to keep me moving forward. I have to recognize my own strengths and use them to help others. Any other way would lose its appeal very quickly.

So, my challenge to you today is...look at this list. Where are you strong? Weak? Choose something to improve on this year. Be thankful for those areas in which you are gifted. I really believe that there are more that you are strong in than weak!

You inspire me daily as I make my rounds!


♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Progressive Dinner

We are planning a progressive dinner
for New Year's Eve. It should be fun.

The first course will be a garden salad
and pretzel salad in house number one.

Then to house number two for vegetable soup
and chili.

House number three will offer bbq sandwiches
and corned beef sandwiches.

The final stop is dessert. A birthday cake
for my mother-in-law, Georgia.

Our group did this once before but our family
was unable to attend due to a stomach bug.
We are very hopeful that this will not be
the case this year. It is worrisome though
that there is plenty of that going around.
We are holding our breath that it will pass by.

What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Monday, December 29, 2008

Friendship's Burden

When I think of friendship I usually tend to think more of the fun and positive times shared with my friends. Those times filled with laughter and impish acts.
Those are fun, for sure. However, they are not the times that deepen our friendships. When all is smooth sailing and just fun we do not have an opportunity to care on a deeper level.

I received an email this morning from a friend who is going through some very rough waters. Her father is very ill with a brain injury caused by a stroke. Her husband's father passed away recently and she is overwhelmed by grief and sadness. Her children are struggling. Boy, does that bring a lot of stuff back.

Being her friend, I want to help carry that burden. I shot an email back to let her know that I am here to listen, help or just cry with her. That is what I can do at this point. God will have to be the one to hold her up. Help her through this horrible time.

One does wonder in cases like these why God allows someone to linger when they are no longer in touch with the world around them...but we have to trust that His will and His plan are so much bigger and better than we can possibly understand.

I know it is hard to be a burden sharer...but your friendships will be richer for it.
I encourage you today to be available for that friend who is struggling. When you don't know what to say...don't worry about it. Just be there with a hug and a listening ear. Maybe a meal...definitely a prayer.

Friendship's Burden.
God's Grace in another person's life.

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Change...It Makes the World Go Around...

I love change!

Same old, same old bores me.
It has always been like this.
As a teenager I repainted and
rearranged my bedroom so many
times that we are sure the room
would survive the strongest tornado
while the rest of the house would

However, this morning I am experiencing
a change that is hampering my ability to

I am on my "new" laptop.
You know, the one Mom gave me for Christmas.
It was the one she and Daddy were going to use
to go around to churches and tell about their
trips to Europe with Transworld Radio and Papua
New Guinea with the Radio Station Start up.
Unfortunately, Dad died unexpectedly before they
got to do that.

I am at the dining room table, rather than down in
our office at the desk. The keyboard is different.
My thought processes are different in this rather
busy part of our house. There are candles on the
table around me that need to be labeled and put in
bags. We plan to have people over today so things
like this need to get done.

It is hard to feel free to post when these things are
so visible out of the corner of my eye.

However, I have made a pact with myself to post
every day I am able. This is a discipline
I will need if ever I get the opportunity to write
professionally. I have no idea if that will ever
happen but it is something that I am open to.

I have a dream of writing fiction for teen boys
and girls. This is not a saturated market.
Our more conservative readers are struggling to
find excellent story lines and writing.

Another area of interest is curriculum writing.
I think this comes from my frustrations in buying
curriculum and finding much of it flat and dull.
Very hard to teach from so I have developed some of
my own that has led to our evaluator encouraging me
to try to find a publishing house and get it published.

That meant a lot to me because she sees many, many
types of curriculums being used and she liked mine...

So, I sit here, struggling with words in this new blogging
environment but it is just another step in the challenge
toward a someday goal.

Change...It stretches us,
It frustrates some of us,
It delights some of us,
It is unavoidable in life.

Do you thrive or suffer in times of change?

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Quiet

The rush of Christmas has passed us by.
I am attempting to remember what day it is.
All of the commotion and doing things out
of the ordinary have a way of messing with
one's internal calendar.

Yesterday we were blessed again to see
Voices of Christmas at Living Waters
Theatre. It is the smaller of Sight and Sound's
Theatres. This has to be my very favorite of all
of the shows Sight and Sound has developed.

The talent of the cast, the costuming and the
stories told are the perfect combination.

Tears flowed freely for more than one in our
group. History is shared of Christmas
traditions over the centuries. It is all done
in a very beautiful way...well, enough raving.
But, seriously...I LOVE IT!

Then there was the trip to the mall on the
evening after Christmas. I don't usually do this....
but this year I was hoping to cash in on some
after Christmas sales on jeans for Mikey and
Chelsea. Jonathan's are in the mail.
You saw Mikey's jeans in that last post.
He is so active....

So...I thought it would be worth it to go out
and find them. I guess it was...we got some
great deals...but it was sooooo crowded that we
all left a bit cranky...just keeping it real!

This morning finds us back to the routine of
taking Mikey to work and now spending time
with my blog friends before I get back to
making candles and cleaning. It is so quiet
here while everyone else sleeps. I think I
will share some time with my Creator too.
He welcomes me any time....busy or quiet.
It is nice to have someone like that.
He is never cranky.
He is never missing.
Always there...waiting...ready...

So, I am going to move some of the
Praise Songs to the top of my Playlist
and spend a little time with them and the Word.

Have a great day!


♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Family Christmas - In pictures

My original plan for the Christmas Eve Service. I could just see these with little red bows on the handles. I was so unhappy when they started popping out because the glass was too smooth to hold the wax without a wick. Bummer!
Oh, well, it all worked out and the service was wonderful!
Everyone who had a part to do, did it beautifully.
The Rabe girls played together...Lindsay on the recorder and Emily on piano.
It was lovely.
Their friends E. and L. played a piano duet for the prelude.
Very, very nicely!
We had a skit by the Andeola family that had us laughing and then a
bit more serious as we contemplated the importance of Christmas.
Very well done, friends!
Nigel Andreola played One Small Child on the piano.
It was perfection.
I nearly lost it reading Dad's poem, Three Giant Steps.
But I determined that I wanted to read it...
so I did.
That was very hard, but I am glad to have done it.
After the lighting of the candles we had a time of
fellowship. That was great.
There was much excitement and happiness all around.

We went back to Mom's to open our stockings after the service.
Mikey had his electronics plugged in to his ears...
so Uncle Allan went and got his and sat down beside Mikey.
Two guys...plugged in!

Mom pulled a prank on us this year. She bought tiny bananas and Kumquats and put them in our stockings. They ended up looking like miniature bananas and oranges.
The challenge was put out to each one as they opened their stockings to try the kumquats. I wish so much that I had a picture of Warren's face as he bit into his.
The shock of the taste was so written all over it. I was the only one who refused to eat one. Thanks, but no thanks. We laughed over the tiny bananas.

However, they were very much enjoyed.
Very sweet.
Very tiny!

After this silliness we went home to bed.
Well, most people went to bed.
Warren and I had to wrap presents.
So...we got to bed eventually.

Christmas morning we were invited next door to
Warren's Mom's for breakfast. Georgia had borrowed
my Christmas plates and they looked so nice.
She made a breakfast Casserole and a Moravian Coffee
Cake. So good! She was raised in the Moravian Church
and we very much miss the traditions that we celebrated
for so many years there. The coffee cake was a nice
reminder of days gone by.

This photo was taken before coffee.
They look "pretty awake" to me.
That is Mikey, Bev and Allan.

Mom's kitty, Sparky, had to get in on the action.
We carried gifts over in these baskets.
He thought that they were a wonderful play place!

We got Mom a chiminea for the deck.
She wanted one so we could light a fire
while we were in the hot tub.
That should be nice!
Can't wait to try that out!

There were tears when Mom gave me the
laptop that She and Daddy had purchased
together just before he died.
It needs some upgrades but it means a lot
to me.

My brother gave Jonathan a fly rod that was
first my Dad's, then Allan's and now Jonathan's.
He is going to teach him to tie flies and fish
with that rod. They gave Jonathan a certificate
for a week of Fish Camp at their place in Centre County, Pa.
That was most thrilling for Jonathan, I know.
He kept saying, "I am not going to cry, I am not going to cry!"
Bless his heart!

Mom's tree after we had emptied it of its heavy burden.
Now it looks a bit lonely...but still beautiful.

We solved our Christmas Dinner dilemma...
We had ham, turkey and roast beef!
It was crazy good!
What a meal that was!

Chelsea is showing you the little sweater that was
attached to the outside of one of my presents.

Bev got me a very pretty sweater from CJ Banks...
one of my very favorite stores. She tied this
sweet thing to the outside of the package.

Chelsea loves her new bed!

This is me waking her up this morning with the camera flash...

We bought the bed. The Grandmas bought the mattress.
She received sheets and a comforter that
match. So her afternoon was busy in making it up
and cleaning the rest of her room so it all looked so
nice. At one point she asked if she could leave Grandma's
to come home. I asked her what she was going to do...
Her reply..."Probably just look at my bed."
So sweet!

We enjoyed spending time with Allan and Bev in the evening.
Then finally had to call it a day.

We are blessed.

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Three Giant Steps

...a poem by Garry Sutley...My Dad
Written in 2001

My Dad always sent out Christmas Cards
with his original writings on them.
This is from Christmas 2001.

In the splendid realm called Heaven, far beyond the starry band,
Spoke the Father to Beloved, seated at His own right hand:
"Take one giant step my dear One." said the Father tenderly.
"Father, may I, with your blessings, step outside eternity?"

So it was that Baby Jesus came to sleep upon the hay.
God, contained in body human, came to earth one glorious day
Wearing flesh by Him created, here the Great Creator dwelt.
Wholly Other made Incarnate, by His bed poor shepherds knelt.

Thirty years and more of walking in the weary ways of men
Then He heard His Father speaking: "Step, my dear One, step again.
Take another step, Beloved. Cross the greatest gulf of all."
"Span the gap by sin created, the rebellion called 'the fall'."

Well He knew that Holy Justice asked a sacrifice of blood,
and that He alone could give it, there was no one else so good.
Yet, His human flesh was shrinking from the pain and agony,
so He said, "Be pleased, my Father, Let this sad cup pass from me.

Nonetheless, because I love You, and I love my brother men.
I will do just as you ask me. Father, may I step again?
Step from life's amazing vigor into death's awaiting pain?
Step away from my enjoyments for the rebel race's gain?

Yes, my Father I will do it! I will walk to Calvary
And I'll bridge the yawning chasm when I die upon the tree."
So our Lord, the Great Creator, died upon a rugged cross
And to angels that observed it, seemed a overwhelming loss.

Deep inside the rocky hollow that was the Beloved's grave.
One more time a voice was heeded; Son, if You would fully save,
There's one giant step remaining. Step from death to life anew."
Father, may I? Let me show them. Let me prove that death is through.

Seated in eternal glory, at His Father's own right hand
Ne'er to die, O wondrous story, Heaven's King is the God/Man.
He three giant steps has taken; He has crossed the chasms wide
So that one day in His presence we, forever, may abide!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Christmas Eve

It is the day before Christmas.

I have been consumed with getting
all of the details put together for
the Christmas Eve Candlelighting Service.

It is so fun to gather up talents and people.
Then put them together in a service that is
honoring to our King!

We have many instrumental specials on the
agenda...a brief drama, and the
Christmas Story sprinkled through, read by
various members of the congregation. The teens
have really gotten in on this and are going to
be doing a lot! What a beautiful thing to see.

We will end with the candlelighting and
Silent Night.

Along the way I have made some mistakes.
For example...I thought it would be very
pretty to put our candles into punch cups
with white soy wax to hold them in.
It is very pretty...but the glass is so
smooth that the whole thing just pops out.
So...plan B will be implemented today.
I will find some pretty Christmas plates
today and make a wax catcher for each candle.
Sigh...that is so traditional!

Anyway...that is not important in the grand
scheme of it?

We are going to bowl this morning.
The bowling alley has special glow
bowling and $1 games all day today.
We are planning to be there when they
open...FUN! Warren is off and he can come
too...My brother and his wife are coming.

This is definitely a first.
Bowling on Christmas Eve.

I do hope that you and your family have a
very blessed Christmas.

I will be posting one of my Dad's poems
tomorrow. I hope you will enjoy it.

Take care...may God richly bless you.


♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Day Menu - The Debate!

Mom called yesterday.

The kids were watching a video
for that part of school so I was
able to talk to her.

It was time to determine the menu
for Christmas Day.
You may have done this months ago...
but that is just not how we operate
here on our little street.

If you don't know,
My Mom and Warren's Mom
are our neighbors since the
Dads have passed away. We now
have weekly meals together and
all of our Holidays are coordinated
between three houses.

So...anyway...yesterday was THE DAY
to decide. Should we have ham and chicken?
Roast Beef and Turkey? Or some other combination
of the same?

We decided that we would do ham (Mom) and
Party Chicken (Me).
It was settled.
Then for some reason it came up with the kids
later and there was disagreement!!
Chelsea insisted that there had to be Roast Beef!
She was looking forward to that!

Jonathan wanted turkey.
Every Holiday table should have turkey was his
declaration of truth.

I called Mom and explained the dilemma.
The kids are old enough to care!
They have an opinion...and it is strong!

Chelsea won.
I will make a roast and potatoes with carrots.

It is yet to be seen if Jonathan won yet.
His wishes have been expressed to Grandma.
It is fine with the rest of us to enjoy ham,
as she planned, since we have had our share of
turkey lately...but you just never know.

What is on your menu?

Does your family have opinions?

Who cooks?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Have a great day!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Monday, December 22, 2008

Great Sunday!

It was questionable as to whether
or not we should cancel church since
at 6:30am when we got up ice pellets
were hitting the windows and it was
nasty outside.

However, our Landlord said that he
would be at the church about that time
to salt or plow as was needed and if he
couldn't make it up the hill to the building
he would let us know. There was no call so
we went ahead.

It was probably at its worst when our family
and Pastor Mike got there, we are always about
30 - 40 minutes ahead of everyone else to start
the coffee and run through the songs for the
day....just that one more time.

As the morning went on the sun came out and
everything was great.

This was the morning for taking in new members
and one special girl was Chelsea!!!

Then she and Mikey took communion for the first time.

Did you see Duane, Kelly and the boys?

They are new members also.
Chelsea wanted a sprinkling baptism.
Mikey and the others who are waiting want
to be immersed. So, we will have to make
other pick, anyone?

We had a special visitor from California yesterday.
He is Evan.
Nephew to Mrs. Rabe.

She loves him!

This picture is for you, Miss Paula!

I did give him a hug.
He didn't run screaming or anything...
don't know what he was thinking though!

There was a fellowship meal after the service
and can you believe we hung out there talking
until after 4pm.

Jonathan snapped this picture after most everyone had gone home.
I know I look bored...but I was probably trying
to listen to three conversations at once.
Fascinating people!
Interesting lives and stories!

I took this picture of Duane, Kelly and the boys.

I love it!
They look would never know that Nicholas was feeling less than wonderful.

The kids were getting bored so took the camera and this
is a sampling of what I found on it when I looked this morning.

Then they made this...
Never mind Miss Emily's hair around the neck...
That is not her head...or anything like

Bit of an airhead...I think!
((totally laughing here))

Love these kids!!!!

Then we brought some friends home with us...
Warren's and my Mom joined us after a while.

Lovely people! All of them!
We missed a couple of families who usually
join us...

The kids went outside at some point in the
very frosty and windy evening and did this!

And then they did it again...
Looks like their age!

Pretty soon they all needed Hot Chocolate!
Needed it!

Finally, it was time...all of our friends went home.
Another week has flown by.

This week will be a bit different since we have the Christmas
Eve Service on Wednesday. I am really looking forward to it.
There will be a brief drama by one very dear family, several
pieces of special music and all I have to do is play for the
congregational singing!

Singing Silent Night.

Well, I guess you have things you need to
get to and here I am going on and on.

Thanks for visiting.

Come back soon!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Advent Sunday - Part Four


The topic of Advent this week.

Love that created the earth and all that
inhabits it.

Love that came to earth.

Love that humbled Himself for me.

Love that knew no sin.

Love that never gives up on me.

****The photo was taken by Kelly, of Cozy Comforts,
on the night of our Ladies Tea****
Thanks Kelly!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Table is GONE!!!!

I am patting myself on the back this evening!

For months there has been a very large table set up
in my kitchen loaded down with candle making supplies.

It was such an eyesore...but a big time saver!

I could pre-warm my jars there, rather than try
to quickly warm them from the garage. Keep my
working fragrances and color oils handy. The
wicks, the wick holders, the soy, the
get the idea.

It takes a lot of supplies to make my candles and
they were all on or under this table...FOR MONTHS!

Finally, today, I made up my mind that this is close
enough to Christmas that the orders are going to slow
down. I have taken all of the ends of wax and made them
into four very colorful and smelly candles.
That took forever just in itself.
Each layer had to cool before the next could be added.

I actually made this guy earlier and just wanted you to see how cute!
Every one of those colors is a different fragrance!

This will be a "treat" to burn.
The family will think I am back in the kitchen pouring more.

I will burn these through the winter just for atmosphere
and warmth. I can't stand to throw this much wax away.
No way.

Now, I have to run back upstairs and finish my job.
Those last couple of things need to be moved and the floor
mopped. It has been way too long since I have been able to
get to this part of my kitchen to clean.

The hutch is soooo dusty!

I can't wait to make it shine.

So, in between a customer, making a bunch of
candles to mostly finish off the orders to date,
music practice and the usual Saturday preps....

Makes me oh... so.... happy!
Tired too!

Chelsea and Grandma Georgia baked today
so there are fresh and very yummy cookies just
waiting to be eaten.

See you soon.

Now, I am thinking...

I can say, Merry Christmas to me!

I just gave myself a very big gift!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

An Interesting Meme

Alicia at Our Little Guy has tagged me.

Here are the rules:
*Go to the 6th picture folder in your documents.
*Find the 6th picture in your 6th folder.
*Pray that you remember what it is about.
*Blog about it.
*Tag 6 people to do the same.

So, with a little trepidation I followed the directions...
all I got was this.

Not pretty little strawberries like Alicia...or some fancy home decor that I had been savvy enough to snap. No, I got a picture of our old van. Right before it left our possession.

Well, I got to thinking that everything has a story and this van is no different.

We were living in State College, PA. The kids were young. We had just begun talking about needing to look for a newer vehicle than what we had. The next day Warren came home and said that, out of the blue, his boss had offered us this van for the cost of transfer and tax. Yikes! That was like a gift straight from Heaven. At that point, I think the van was just three years old. We drove that van for about nine years!

Right before the "end", Warren was driving on a road we use all of the time that is "just a bit bumpy", ahem, 222 for those who live around here, and the hubcap flew off. A few days later I was driving by and saw it in an Amish man's field. Warren went back and got it but something was too bent to allow it to fit again. Oh well, "Vanity, vanity all is vanity." Pun intended!

In the end we donated this little chariot to charity.

The little van that could!

The sixth photo in my sixth folder.

I would like to tag...

Terri - Lakewood Manor
Tracy - Tracy's Corner
Kelly - Cozy Comforts
Brenda - Coffee Tea Books and Me
Chelsea - It's About Friends
Carol - Carol's Heirloom Collection

Have fun if you want to.
I'll be checking to see if you wanted to play.

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Friday, December 19, 2008

Matters of the Heart

It has come to my attention lately that my
children are deep in mourning over the
loss of their Grandfathers.

It is easy to think that they have moved
on, don't care, aren't bothered by it...

but then suddenly in the car the other day
Mikey began talking about his Grandfathers
and how much he misses them.

Last night Jonathan relayed his longing
for Grandpa, as something had triggered
a memory.

I think this year is our most emotional one
yet, as there is no current health crisis,
or recent loss. Each year since 2005
there has been some horrible "thing" going
on over the Holiday period and we have been
distracted. This year we are all struggling
in our own ways.

I am so glad that the boys have finally opened
up about their pain. It makes some of their
behaviors and attitudes easier to understand.

At our Wednesday evening dinner at Georgia's
this week the subject turned to grief. It was
so good to talk about where we are now. This is
not something that just "times out".

It changes, shifts, and works its way deeper
into your heart and soul.

Our family is not unlike so many out there that are
processing thoughts of loneliness, sadness and sometimes
anger at this time of the year.

But we are talking about it.

I do hope that if you are struggling today,
you will find someone to talk with.
Share your feelings.
Ask someone to pray with and for you as you
sometimes walk in the valley.

Then get up, dust yourself off, and find someone
that you can minister to.

That is the antidote.

Prayer and giving.

My heart goes out to all who are processing
loss this Christmas Season, whether that loss
is "fresh" or "freshly come to mind".

Love you!
You are in my prayers.

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rocketry on the Church Web Site

For a couple of months we have been
working on a fun project for the church
web site.


Silliness and then photos of us actually
having a great time launching rockets

I hope you'll take a minute to check this
out. It was both harder and easier than I
thought it would be. Easier because my friend
B. actually manipulated the silly photos so
I didn't have to take a crash course on
Photoshop. Harder because of all of the
hyperlinking and changing around of the order
of the photos over the time we were working on it.

Here you the Launch button!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No! Chloe! Not the Santa Bobo!!!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Once Upon a Christmas

The family came from miles around
to share in the festivity.
In the circle those days were Moms
and Dads, Grandma and Grandad,
Aunts, Uncles, Cousins galore.

They would gather around the tree that
towered over the train that circled it
again and again. The track had been
laid and carefully placed on a board
with a village and greens. This was
Grandad's special gift to his family.

The Bible came out and the story
was told how a baby was born long
ago. Some endured this long reading.
Others knew the value of tucking this
deep in your heart. The value of
keeping this story so fresh that
you could almost repeat it, not read it.

Then came the gifts offered one at a time.
Each one savored and wondered about.
"What will you do with it?" asked
Grandad in his deep growly voice,
as his eyes twinkled with joy.
He would ask this just as one was
about to rip off the paper...causing
a hold on the progress.

One by one they would open a gift, sometimes
guessing that socks would be eaten,
or that peanuts would be worn.
Giggles would break out and fun would be
had as each one enjoyed this sweet game.

There weren't many presents in those
long ago years...but somehow that was just
fine. It still took an afternoon of family
time to open the one or two for each one.
It was time, precious time...and memories
collected that are imprinted in the mind
of this family.

Now of that happy family group are gone two
great men. The Grandad and Dad have gone on
to their sweet reward, leaving a legacy.
One of the reading of a Christmas Story
and savoring the time together.

A time to enjoy being together and
wondering what it might be.
Not every time,
but it heard more than once,
"Hey, what are you going to do with it?"
before a gift is opened.

Once upon a Christmas...
it is what we are creating
for our children or grandchildren this year.

What will you do that will remain...
when they write their own story...
Once Upon a Christmas?

♥♥Becky K.♥♥

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

So Sweet - Tea and Fellowship

If you thought you heard a huge
sigh from the Northeast this morning
it was probably me...

I am so delighted that the tea is
behind us...but more than that...
it was wonderful!!!!

There were four bloggers in attendance.
Someone got a picture of us...I think it
was Kelly so we will probably be appearing
on Cozy Comforts at some point over the
next few days....I was very happy to meet
Tracy, from Tracy's Corner.
She is sweet.

As for the preparations:
The work day began at 9:00am as Mikey and
I were attempting to find a tree.
I was "multi-tasking" in church on
Sunday and decided that a real tree
with the names of Jesus on it would
be just the thing!
So Mikey and I borrowed Georgia's
truck and headed over to a tree
"Store" set up nearby.
Apparently it was too early and there
was no one there.
This was a very good thing because later
when Mrs. Rabe got to the church she mentioned
a place that she had just passed and we found
the perfect tree there. Mikey picked it out,
set it up, and put the lights in the middle
of the tree for us before he had to leave for

The paper star/snowflake on the top is a Chinese
decoration. One of our friends is Chinese and showed
us how to make this Sunday after Church. It is so
delicate but only takes two pieces of paper to make.
This makes it very economical. Jenny said that the
people of China love to decorate but they have been
very they have been very creative.

Preparing for the tea was time consuming.
Mrs. Rabe does nothing half way.
She brought her tablecloths, glass dishes,
silverware, and punch cups.

We began setting the tables.
I got this shot in the very beginning
before we added punch cups, teacups, teapot, discard
plate, fork and spoon, napkin and bell...
the tables were lovely and full.

A sweet vignette on the food table...

The food...

We had scones, fudge, cookies,
sausage cheddar balls, two veggie trays,
crab dip, shrimp dip, a Chinese dessert which
you can see in the punch bowl,
crackers and cheese. Wow!
What a nice assortment provided
by the ladies of the church.
Chelsea was busy all of yesterday
afternoon making the fudge
and the sausage balls.

After the eating and chatting

Deanna gave a brief talk about
Keeping Christ in Christmas throughout
the Christmas Season. She told us
some of their family traditions and
opened it up for others to share theirs.

It was neat to hear what was shared.

We ended the evening with Christmas Carols.
How pretty to hear the ladies voices....

Finally, it was time to undo all that had
been done. Here I have to tell you a funny

I had been a bit hesitant to tell our Pastor
that we planned to have the tea in the Sanctuary.
I figured that afterwards would be soon enough and
less time for him to worry that we would spill
on the carpet or anything like that.

So we were having a grand time thinking we were
"getting away" with this. That he did not know.

Shortly before the tea was to begin I looked down
on the table that we were using as our staging point
and what did I find? A note from Pastor Mike!
It said..."It looks great! All of the floors
are vacuumed and cleaned for you! Have a great
evening! Mike"

We were busted!

Better yet...he had sacrificed his own time
and energy to make our evening even nicer!
He shampooed spots out of the carpet in the
fellowship hall...even after he obviously knew
we weren't using it...

What a blessing that was to Deanna and I.
His approval and his service.
Thanks Mike!
Oh, did we laugh!
Big time!

The rest of our guys got involved after
the ladies had gone home when they came over
and helped return all of the chairs and tables
to their rightful places. We are very blessed
to have husbands and sons who are willing to
serve in this way.

Well, this has been long...but it only scratches
the surface of this wonderful evening.

The men wonder at how we can enjoy something
that takes so much planning and preparation
and then is done in a couple of hours.

I don't know.

We just do!

♥♥Becky K.♥♥