Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What we do on Christmas Eve

Don't mess with me and my chocolate!

My daughter, Jewel, takes on her brother and cousins in defense of her chocolate.

Update: to see the Bloopers and the final Director's Cut, check out Yekwana Man

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

What Christmas Means to Me

Christmas is a day we remember the birth of Christ. Was he born on December 25th? Does it really matter?

On this day we remember His birth, we include Him in that celebration. Even when many try to keep Him out of it, He is remembered! It may only be in the words of a Christmas carol sung around the tree, but many people all around the globe will be celebrating the historical fact of the birth that changed the world!

I try and overcome all the commercialism and paganism involved in the tradition of Christmas by using the opportunity to focus on Christ! Put Him first! Lift Him up! Make Him the reason for the Season! Exalt HIM!

After all, He is the Greatest Gift ever given! His birth was for a purpose. He was born to be our Saviour! He was born to save us from our sin, from the penalty of our sin, from the guilt of living a life of sin.

For God so loved the world He gave His only son! Paul calls this the Unspeakable Gift!

It is a gift, freely given to all men. Have you accepted this gift? We are all in need of this gift as we are all born into the human race with a sin debt.

Our debt;

"Because all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God." Romans 3:23.

His gift:

"The wages of sin is death; but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life through JESUS CHRIST our Lord." Romans 6:23.

Christmas would be a wonderful time to accept this Gift of God!

Receive His forgiveness! He was born, God in the flesh, for our redemption. He was sacrificed and died for our atonement, and He rose again to provide a way for all to have forgiveness if we but repent. It is a gift given to us freely, but a gift that came with a high price!

The True Cost Of Christmas

( by Chyrll's Corner)

It cost Mary and Joseph the comforts of home during a long period of exile in Egypt to protect the little Babe.
It cost mothers, in and around Bethlehem, the massacre of their babies by the cruel order of Herod.
It cost the shepherds the complacency of their shepherd's life, with the call of the manger and to tell the Good News.
It cost the wise men a long journey and expensive gifts and changed lives.
It cost the early Apostles and the early church persecution and sometimes death.
It cost missionaries of Christ untold suffering and privation to spread the Good News.
It cost Christian martyrs in all ages their lives for Christ's sake.
More than all this, it cost God the Father His own Son-He sent Him to the earth to save men.
It cost Jesus a life of sacrifice and service, a death cruel and unmatched in history.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Guess What?

It's official !

My son, Joshua, put an engagement ring on Naomy's finger!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mí Anhelo Hoy

A mirar a tí, Señor!
Y no mirar atras!

A caminar contigo, Señor!
Sin desmayar!

A postrar ante de tu altar, Señor!
Y no lamentar!

Solo a tí Señor,
Quiero amarte mas y mas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Family Favorite

(Spanglish Version)

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa,

Not a creature was stirring -- Caramba! Que pasa?

Los niños were tucked away in their camas,

Some in long underwear, some in pijamas,

While hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado

In hopes that old Santa would feel obligado

To bring all children, both buenos and malos,

A nice batch of dulces and other regalos.

Outside in the yard there arose such a grito

That I jumped to my feet like a fightened cabrito.

I ran to the window and looked out afuera,

And who in the world do you think that it era?

Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero

Came dashing along like a crazy bombero.

And pulling his sleigh instead of venados

Were eight little burros approaching volados.

I watched as they came and this quaint little hombre

Was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre:

"Ay Pancho, ay Pepe, ay Cuco, ay Beto,

Ay Chato, ay Chopo, Macuco, y Nieto!"

Then standing erect with his hands on his pecho

He flew to the top of our very own techo.

With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea,

He struggled to squeeze down our old chiminea,

Then huffing and puffing at last in our sala,

With soot smeared all over his red suit de gala,

He filled all the stockings with lovely regalos --

For none of the niños had been very malos.

Then chuckling aloud, seeming very contento,

He turned like a flash and was gone like the viento.

And I heard him exclaim, and this is verdad,

Merry Christmas to all, and Feliz Navidad!

Jim and Nita Lee (Dec. 1972)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas in the Jungle

The manger

Elementary Choir

Pastor Victor tells the old, old story.

Mary was GREAT with Child!

Mary and Joseph at the Manger

The Wise men Worship the Newborn King!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Twas the Night Before Christmas"

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Merry Christmas, My Friend

by Corporal James M. Schmidt, former U.S. Marine
First published in "Leatherneck Magazine", December 1991

'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one-bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
and to see just who in this home did live.

As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I'd seen.
This was the home of a U.S. Marine.

I'd heard stories about them, I had to see more,
so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home. ,

He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
I soon understood, this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night,
owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.

Soon around the Nation, the children would play,
And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
because of Marines like this one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.

He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps."

With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.

I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night's chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.

I didn't want to leave him so quiet in the night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
said "Carry on, Santa, it's Christmas Day, all secure."
One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

The "BLOGGING Baby Shower"

One of the very first things I did in Paraguay was deliver all the gifts many of you had sent to my daughter for the baby, Abby.

Debbie at ~~~Apples of Gold~~~~had the wonderful idea which she coordinated with my sister, Pam ,at Midnight Musings. Many different bloggers sent gifts or money, so that I could carry it down to my daughter , Jackie, at Faithful in the few Things as a great surprise!

I had intended to put it all out and take photos , but, we arrived at the house at midnight and we were all so excited, I just started pulling things out and saying, "pen of jen sent this package with the cute matching dresses for you three and the cow doll for Elena! OH! And the cute farm animal purse!!! And cook books!"

"Debbie and Susan at, both sent checks, so we combined their money to get this Baby Album scrapbook you had asked for!"

Webutante also sent a check and wanted a gift for each of the girls and Jackie some shoes. So we purchased 2 pairs of summer sandals for Jackie and matching Christmas dresses for the two girls!

Pat sent teething meds and the folks at Smyrna Baptist Church and Missie, The Crownie's Mom all sent hair bows, candles, jewelry, and even gourmet coffees and a grinder for Brian!

Tiany at Less Of Me~More Of Him- sent a package of gifts Jackie had admired as a give away Tiany had done at her blog awhile back.

Of course. Pam sent her annual engraved ornament and ginger bread men ornaments for Elena to decorate and put on the tree. Which she did!

We had such a blast, I never got the pictures taken. OOPS! I really meant too!!! I wish you all could have been there and seen all the excitement! Especially, since my family teases me about all my imaginary friends in the blogashere! You all sent REAL gifts, so you can not be just imaginary friends, right????


Thursday, December 06, 2007

In Miami

Almost home again. We left Paraguay yesterday morning and will make it back home this afternoon.

I miss Elena and Abbie already! I will post pictures of our trip in a few days.

I just checked in on the Chavez agenda...he is already using language I can not, will not, use here at my blog! The man is mad and will continue the reforms. He had a row of military men behind him as he cursed the opposition and promised that he had not changed one bit At the end of the speech, he had the military men stand and chant for him, like a group of cheer leaders. Despicable show.

I will post all about what we did and who we met while in Paraguay soon.

Well, I'm off again!!!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Venezuela...Now or Never

If you wish to follow the blog of a Venezuelan
regarding todays elections,
read Daniel's blog for his updates.

PS: Any of my Venezuelan commenters, feel free to comment on your observations!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Venezuela, te amo!

I have sat here trying to place words in order, trying to make sense of my own prayers. I can't. I want a change in the country...but at what cost? I want the regime to fall, many will have to die? I want my friends to be safe, but...someone must have the courage to resist the evil! I want a change! I want it now! But, is this a necessary step the country of Venezuela must go though in order to understand and cherish their freedom?

I do not have answers, but God does! May He hold them in His love and give each one the strength to do what they must! May those who know Him declare His love and glory to those who do not. May all false gods be brought low and humbled before Him. May the future be better than the past!

Venezuela, querida mia! Pensar en ti, me hace llorar!