And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9
Deck the Halls.....Silent Night Holy Night.....O Little Town of Bethlehem.....O Come all Ye Faithful......Away in a Manger.....O Beautiful Star of Bethlehem......O Holy Night.......Angels We Have Heard on High...and
Little Drummer Boy
♪♫Come, they told me, pa rum pum pum pum♪♫
"Come, come with us! We have someone special for you to meet"
the wise men said,
♪♫A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum ♪♫
"A sweet baby boy was just born and His name is Jesus.
He is our King"
♪♫Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum♪♫
"We brought the best gifts that we could find to give Him
-gold, frankincense and myrrh"
♪♫To lay before the King, pay rum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum. So, to honor Him, pa rum pum pum, When we come♪♫
"When we give Him our gifts, we will honor Him"
♪♫Little Baby, pa rum pum pum♪♫
"Sweet Baby Jesus...."
♪♫I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum♪♫
"Seeing that You were born in this stable among the animals,
having to sleep in a wooden straw padded manger,
You must be poor. I, too, am poor."
♪♫I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum♪♫
"I am sorry, Baby Jesus, I have nothing
that seems good enough to give You, a King."
♪♫Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum, On my drum? ♪♫
"But, Jesus, I can worship You!
Shall I do that?"
♪♫Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum♪♫
"Yes, you have my permission to worship my son,
the King," said humble Mary.
"He will understand"
♪♫The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum♪♫
All got quiet in the stable while I knelt beside the manger
worshiping Jesus and acknowledging Him as MY King.
The animals sensed that this was
a special occasion and they too worshiped the King.
♪♫I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum♪♫
I worshiped from the bottom of heart,
surrendered to Him my everything,
for He alone is worthy of my best.
He was born to be my Savior, my counselor,
♪♫Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum Me and my drum♪♫
He smiled at me!
He was pleased with me, with my offering!
He excepted my worship, my praise, my surrender,
my simple pa rum pum pum pum.
So, my friends, come! Come with me!
I have someone special for you to meet this Christmas Season!
His name is Jesus and
helongs for you to kneel beside that wooden manger,
to recognize who He is and for you to offer
your simple pa rum pum pum pum.
Come! Learn of Him as He grew older,
as He did the will of His Father by
ministering to the needy,
convicting the sinful,
teaching the willing,
condemning the hypocrites,
being crucified on a wooden cross
to pay for the sins of all the world.
He longs for you to kneel beside that wooden cross,
to recognize who He is, what He did for you,
bringing nothing but worship and surrender,
your simple pa rum pum pum pum.
♪♫Then He'll smile at you, pa rum pum pum pum, You and your drum♪♫
This is strictly my interpretation of "Little Drummer Boy." May you see the beauty in this simple song.
Months ago while sorting all the boxes and barrels in the attic, I came across a barrel that contained toys, etc. from when I was a young girl. As I dug out and examined each item, memories flowed over me and I was once again that little girl who, from my perspective now, had not a care in the world.
This is a large sturdy cardboard doll with a permanent attached felt slip and moveable arms. She came with a wardrobe of clothing that would "stick" to her. She was probably about 1/2 my size at the age I played with her.
"Janette" was my all time favorite doll! She is almost bald and contains a few ink marks, but don't look too bad for being about 40 years old.
Little china set and cast iron cookware. As you can see in the background, the large bead hair elastics were "in", too.
When I was about 7 or 8, I received this cool baby buggy. Around that time, I had a new cousin born and for some reason, my sister Karen thought she should put "Tammy" in my baby buggy. Well, she exceeded the weight limit and forever made my buggy lean. Needless to say, I was very upset! I remember still playing with it, but making sure I pushed it in a way that it didn't lean. Then when I would let go of the handle and it would flop to the side again.
Somewhere in my younger lifetime, I must have sold this buggy at a yard sale or something. I can't remember, but a few years ago I walked into Jubilee and here was this buggy sitting in the area where the drop off bin is. I instantly knew that was my buggy, for it was a leaner! I wondered who had dropped it off, the manager didn't know, but it was still in good shape - no less wear than when I originally had it. I told her the story of this buggy, she priced it and I bought it! How was I suppose to leave my baby buggy sit at Jubilee? Plus now I have 2 grand-daughters who could play with it.
Oh, how I loved playing with this tree house! It has a living room, bedroom with beds, kitchen with table and chairs, an elevator, swing, car and garage, and of course like you can see, Mr. Doggy in his dog house. Getting it down from the attic, I set it all up and played with it again. Why can't we buy toys like this anymore?
Next is Barbie and Ken with 1967 & 1968 neatly stamped on their backsides. Not sure who made the clothing to replace the usual seductive wear they come with, but there must have been a wedding, for she has her wedding gown still on. Ken must have looked handsome in those striped green pants! :) In doing research, these dolls aren't worth anything spectacular anymore.
Laura Ingals paper dolls. I could not get this picture to rotate, so you will just have to cock your head sideways to take a look. :) Not sure how the precious moments little person got in there, but I think I had a set of those, too. Paper dolls were another neat thing back then! Does anyone play with them yet?
In the age before trampolines, this is what we had to resort to! Can't believe anyone was allowed to sell something so dangerous! A few years ago, someone had posted a picture of the same Jump Shoes in the "Reminisce" Magazine. I remember seeing that article, thinking "I have a pair of those and they are considered an antique????" Whew!
There is a story to this poor teddy. When I was in first grade, I had a terrible time learning my alphabet. (yes, back then the children did not learn to read in preschool and yes, I struggled in school). I was the last one in class to learn them and finally my mom left me pick out this bear at the store (and no it wasn't at WalMart either, probably KMart or Woolworths or Fryers in Hamburg,) and said that I could have it once I learned the ABCs. I learned them and remember taking this little fellow to school with me. Some of the boys, I think it was Brian Reihl and Richard Daley - for those of you who remember them, kidnapped him and stuck him up in a tree at recess. When they FINALLY got him down for me, he smelled like sap. Meanies! :)
My autograph humpty dumpty - was fun to read the signatures that my friends and teachers signed on there long time ago. "Mr. Wilhelm", my 5th grade teacher, is right up there next to his eyes, "Dad" on his leg and "Kevin" on the rim of his hat.
Can't remember which year this was, but this was my first buck and I shot him in West Virginia. He was an albino deer and his 2 front hooves were white and he had a strange set of 4 point antlers. My dad encouraged me to have this lamp made from his legs.
I loved home-ec in High School and received an award from Mrs. Deppen at our graduation ceremony. We had become really good friends and she helped me put together this quilt top during one of her free periods in 11th - 12 grade. After 29 years, it is still just a quilt top folded in my cedar chest. Would love to finish it! Maybe this winter would be a good time. :)
My first gift from Dave was a Christmas gift and he bought me this sewing box, brown knitted mittens and scarf, which I still have, and a pair of pink sweat pants and sweat shirt, which I don't think I have anymore.
Funny how seeing an item, holding it, and smelling it can take a person into the past!
I grieve when I go into a store and try to look for nice toys for the boys and for the grandchildren. Why would any little girl want to play with a doll with one eye and unreal features and colors, or toys that are gruesome and anything but pleasant to look at? Seems hard to even find a nice lego set that is not eery looking. No wonder children have night mares!
But for Dave there was not found a helper comparable to him.
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Dave, and he slept:
and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from Dave, made he a woman, and brought her unto Dave.
And Dave said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Brenda, and she will be my helper.
Therefore shall Dave leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto Brenda: and they shall be one flesh.
If you get your Bible out and read Genesis 2:20-24, you most certainly will not find the names Dave and Brenda! And you will notice a few words dropped and few added in the above sentences.
You try it! Insert you and your spouse's name. Like how it sounds and feels?
As a little girl I heard those scriptures and as a grown woman I heard those scriptures, but I did not fully understand what they truly meant. I have heard and read the story of Adam and Eve and created a picture in my mind of the "beginning." How good and perfect everything was in the Garden of Eden! God took a rib from Adam's side (the only bone in our bodies that regenerate) and created a beautiful creature. Why didn't God create Eve from the dust? Instead He created her out of Adam's side to be equal with him, from under his arm to be protected, and from near his heart to be beloved. He now felt complete. His missing part was found! Just like the animals, he now had a companion, and a special one with a special purpose at that.
We don't exactly know what happened in the days following the creation of that special person, but eventually Eve opened her lovely mouth and chomped into that juicy piece of fruit, which by the way, may not have been a red apple. I wonder.... while standing there chewing, did she hound Adam to take a bite, too? Did they argue back and forth, Adam knowing that he should not, Eve wondering why not, Adam wondering why Eve felt to take a bite in the first place, and Eve wondering why Adam will not just "listen" to her? What really did go on beneath that tree and what were the events that led up to even going to that tree in the first place?
Did Eve get bored? Did she grow discontent? Was Adam just too busy to notice that his wife was growing a wee bit independent until the incident under the tree and then he didn't want to make waves by addressing it? Did the communication between them break down and they assumed that they each knew what the other was thinking? Was she resenting being his helper and being told what to do and desired for herself to be more elevated? Why didn't she offer the apple to Adam BEFORE she bite into it? Did she resent his reluctance? I guess it doesn't matter anymore because the deed was done LONG time ago, but I believe that was the beginning of what happens way too often in a marriage - miscommunication.
It is so easy in this bone of bone, flesh of flesh relationship to be standing underneath "that" tree with her looking at him and him looking her, both with the knowledge that there has been a break down somewhere in their relationship. Maybe it began with the misconception that the woman tends to have - thinking that her husband should know everything - like "you really should know what I am thinking" and "you really should know what I want to do or where I want to go and what would be the perfect gift for me." "You mean you don't know how to figure that out?" "You don't understand that just bending at the waist and picking up your clothes only takes 2 seconds?" "Don't you realize that we need to spend more time just talking?" (that's a good one, isn't it?) "You really should KNOW everything about everything, including how to figure me out!" Come on, ladies! Admit it! Or am I the lone Eve in this garden of life? Oh, we might not say anything out loud to him, or maybe we do. Then we wonder why our Adam seems to find himself busy elsewhere, or he remains by our side physically, but emotionally becomes elsewhere. He does not know what to make of his Eve, who has this independent, resentful attitude that she carries around. And he wonders why his Eve would even think that he would think of speaking to her about it, for really, he has no idea why she would bite his head off?
And that juicy piece of fruit?
It has a big chomp missing!
She is chewing away, all the while wondering why he is so needy!
The big realization finally hits her ... and hard! .... if her Adam would know everything and be able to do everything, he really wouldn't need her by his side and she may as well give back his rib! It is just fine and dandy and wonderful that he is not a "know it all!" He NEEDS a helper and she was chosen!
God in His wisdom had it all planned out that the joining of an imperfect man and an imperfect woman would make a perfect pair.
Being our husbands HELPER is NOT a position to be despised!
It is NOT a lowly position, but one to be held in high esteem!
This place beside our husbands, protected under his arm and close to his heart
is a position to be desired, to be cherished.
And the women's liberation has it all wrong!
(Think I will receive some hate mail?)
Together we compliment each other.
When we are by our husband's side, our strengths compensate for his weaknesses and his strengths compensate for our weaknesses. We become strong and magnificent, both in our imperfections!
The picture in my mind of the "beginning" has become more beautiful!
We are still milking just a few cows in the mornings - for the pigs, calves and our consumption. Every few weeks, the boys will let the milk set for a day or two and then skim off the cream for us to make butter.
I have discovered that blenders from yard sales or second hand shops work great for whipping cream. Besides a blender, other necessary items are simply a spatula and strainer. I allow the milk to sit out of the refrigerator for 10 -15 min. before whipping.
Fill the blender canister about half full (do NOT fill too full - the cream expands during the whipping).
Turn on high and within a very short time (about less than a minute), you will have whipped cream.
Now the tricky part.... the cream needs to be fed down into the beaters and this is done VERY carefully....or you end up with this.... (revision 12/9/13 - at this point add approx. 1 c. of COLD water and the "feeding of the cream into beaters" is almost eliminated)
After another short time, the cream will separate into buttermilk and butter solids...
(from starting time til butter solids are formed it usually takes about 3 minutes)
Drain off the buttermilk - which may be saved for baking or drinking, however, it is not cultured like boughten buttermilk so it won't work to use in cheese recipes. After we drain, we pour COLD water in canister and blend again. This "washing" process speeds the removal of the buttermilk from the solids. We "wash" the butter twice. (Removing as much buttermilk from the butter solids as possible is important to prevent spoilage.)
Butter is then dumped into a strainer to await it's massage appointment.
After all the beatings the poor butter goes through up to this point, it now deserves to be massaged. This is done by taking an amount and massaging it back and forth between fingers til the liquid is removed.
We then put the butter into a bowl and add salt to taste and sometimes herbs, like parsley, dill, and oregano.
1 cup amounts are measured out and shaped into balls and put into freezer.
The 3 musketeers usually help with this project and it can be interesting! Usually some kicking and butter slinging takes place, mixed with a bit of complaining and then of course greasy hands, equipment, table, sink and floor. On this day, we quickly started this project before the kitchen was actually cleaned up from breakfast! Talk about a mess! We had it! And as soon as this mess was cleaned up, we had 3 laundry baskets of broccoli to do! Crazy, but rewarding day! And the boys had home-economics! :)
Grammom and Grampop showed up to deliver some firewood right when we finished up with this butter making process. The boys realized that they could be dismissed to help Grampop unload the truck and Oliver breathes a sigh of relief and said, "finally, something manly to do!"
So, if it is such a mess, why do we make our own butter? I do ask myself that same question sometimes (actually many times, especially when I go to the grocery store and know how easy it would be to buy it), but when I taste that creamy yellow butter and know exactly where it came from, I know that we will do this again - in fact in about 2 weeks.
We were trying to decide what we wanted to do, for a date night has become a rare happening for us. Not because we don't want to go on a date together, it is just that life seems to whiz by before our eyes - zoom! there goes a day - zoom zoom another day - another day - and before you know it, we seem to be living together - me the maid - him the provider - friends in the passing.
We thought it would be fun to go to a restaurant and then catch a movie - no!
Didn't care for movie selections
How 'bout go to a restaurant and then play minature golf - no!
Neither of us wanted to play minature golf
Ok, go to a restaurant and then find a little romantic nook somewhere - no!
Didn't know where to find that romantic nook - without staying overnight, that is.
I know, we really do need to get out more! And expand our minds, for sure! We have just become a pair of old fogies! Boring old fogies trying to agree on something exciting!
Well, we knew we definitely were going to go out to eat!
So we decided to go to an old favorite - Hoss'.
By the time we arrived, I was entering in a hypoglycemic fit. I knew I needed to eat, but when I did I felt so sick on my stomach. So, there we were - on our supposedly romantic date - and I end up in tears of frustration. I slowly recovered and we left the restaurant and went to a decided little romantic rendezvous - Ollies! And then onto Staples, next to the Dollar General and lastly - Giant!
At least when we get home, we will watch a movie together while the boys go to bed. We heard good reviews of Les'Miserables, so that is what we'll watch. Needless to say, after 10 minutes, we both decided that this is just not the kind of movie either of us want to watch.
A romantic date? Not exactly. Am I complaining? NO WAY!
Would I take an evening like that again? YES WAY! (except for the hypoglycemic fit)
We had a wonderful evening together - romantic or not!
We were together - secure in our love for each other.
Sometimes it really isn't about romance at all!
It is about dedication, commitment, trust and self-denial.
Romance is a side benefit.
I certainly am looking forward to many more years with this man, who is my friend, lover, and lord. In the meantime, I think I better start thinking where on earth, especially near Berks Co., we can go on our next date. Maybe fishing.......
One of the songs that George requested to be sung at his baptism yesterday.
It was a beautiful day, beautiful location and beautiful event, in more ways than one.
God is faithful!! He is available to each one of us! He wants us to draw near to Him, to be our Strength, to be our Guide, to be our loving Father! Why is it easy to get distracted and forget those facts? Oh, to remain so pure of heart and filled with joy as a new believer!
George requested that a good friend, who was instrumental in George's decision, go down into the water with him and Dave. The current was so strong that they both had to hold onto George or he would've gone floating down the creek. Due to that fact, I could not get a good picture of the actual baptism....
ending with 2nd requested song...
Jesus, all for Jesus,
all I am and have and ever hope to be
Jesus, all for Jesus
all I am and have and ever hope to be
All of my ambitions, hopes and dreams
I surrender these into Your hands
All of my ambitions, hopes and dreams
I surrender these into Your hands
For it's only in Your will that I am free
For it's only in Your will that I am free
Jesus, all for Jesus
All I am and have and ever hope to be
Many blessings to you, George, as you begin this new journey of life!
At the beginning of 2012, I had started to share my journey to better health.
It has been a very long journey and the last time I had invited you along was on August, 2012.
Now over a year later, I am STILL traveling the rocky road to better health, but the further
along on this trip we got, the more WE realized that this trip was not for pleasure, but for education.
I will explain later on how the "I" became "WE".
When this journey began, I was following a map to my destination of "Better Health".
My goal was to lose 30+ lbs, to be physically fit, and to feel like I was 16 again.
Those goals did not seem so outlandish, but very obtainable (well, maybe except for the "16" part of it.)
By 4 weeks, this vehicle was cruising along and making good time!
I remained excited until I reached a state where the tax money was not enough to put better road signs along the highway. Further along, questions and discouragement became a travel hazard and by July I realized that the original destination to "Slender" had to be put on hold and a different route had to be considered. A few miles down the road, I had totally cut the engine and rested at a wonderful rest area. While resting, I made an entry in my journal about some "bad words" we learned on the trip that needed to be banned from our vocabulary.
(click on blue words to read those posts)
For a few months, my journey was pretty much uneventful. I had restarted the engine and moved forward at a slow rate of speed. My vehicle seemed to run rough, due to my companion, the still famous misbehaving Thyroid. In Jan. of this year, I had joined a weight lose challenge, in which I only lost a few lbs., and in March started following the "Trim Healthy Mama" (which is a huge, very informative book written by 2 sisters) way of eating.
I was feeling great! ....... until April!
We, our 2 youngest boys & I, were running errands, when I had the most terrifying spell!
I felt nauseous, like passing out, my body literally shook and felt like it weighed a ton, cold hands and feet, weird acting heart. We were in the area of our Chiropractor and I managed to drive there and get help. It was suspected that I had a hypoglycemic episode.(?) My family Dr. did EKG - it was normal. To make long story short, I had several more spells, which warranted a stress test - which was normal, and retesting of my thyroid labs - which were abnormal. Doc did not want to change my meds, so I changed them on my own. The spells diminished, however, I just did not feel well.
It was like my body was screaming "ENOUGH! I'VE HAD IT! I'M TIRED!"
And along with that, I now developed a fear of going away and Dave developed a fear of me driving and the boys developed a fear of being with me. I also had a fear of having another episode, so I ate often, good food, but often, so needless to say, I found all my lost weight (just can't think about that right now).
Added to all that, my faith took a nose dive straight into the ground. I no longer only had questions about my health, I now had questions about my faith in God.
When fear enters, faith exits!
(will share later about that journey)
I heard of an Endocrinologist at Geisinger, Danville, who was supposed to be wonderful. I had called twice to talk to the nurse to see if the Dr. does anything different than what has been done for me so far. She reassured me that she does so I anticipated the visit with much hope. Hope! What a wonderful word!!
After waiting a few months, the appt. day arrived and Dave drove me to Danville.
Saw Dr. Hu and soon, REALLY soon, realized that she provided absolutely no hope for me!
She did not do anything different than any other Dr.(what was the nurse talking about?) and she even discouraged me from doing my own research. I understand that you cannot believe everything you read, but why can't the Dr's understand that "scientific proven" is not always the only way or right way and sometimes don't even work for everyone? There is a reason why there are so many books, websites, support groups for Thyroid and Hashimotos out there! The medical world is not meeting the needs of thousands of people who are suffering!
Anyway, I literally cried the whole way home.
Not only did I not receive answers, but I received no hope! Hope! What a wonderful word!! (I know I repeated it..... :) )
So, my wonderful husband decided that he will just have to be my Dr.. That is how the "I" turned into "WE", for now he is traveling on this journey with me in a very active way. He delved into studying and researching my condition and learned more than I ever did in all my research.
tsk tsk.... naughty boy - doing all that research! :)
He's the most handsome Dr. I ever had!! :)
One person who has been the most influential is Dr. Izabella T Wentz
She has a wonderful book, a website, blog and Facebook page. She is extremely informative and easy to understand, so if you have a journey similar to mine, I would encourage you to look her up.
Recently, we (the new Dr. Hubby & I) were able to go to a local nutritionist who spent 2 hrs. with us and gave me a road map for a different journey - a journey similar to Dr. Wentz's - a journey to heal my body, not just provide another band-aide.
So, once again, I have hope! What a wonderful word!!! ♥
We were able to go on a short family vacation, the first time in about 5 years!
Needless to say, we didn't want to come home.
This family owned "little piece of Heaven" is a place that I can remember going to
as far back as I can remember.
Each year my family would travel to the "cabin" quite a few times -
just north of Williamsport - officially named "Dutchman's Paradise."
No cell phones, no computers, no movies, no radios - just the sound of the night peepers, the rippling water of the creek, an occasional car on the dirt road, children laughing, the clink of a quoit hitting the pin (and then lots of whooping!), the reel of a fishing line, the dipping of an oar on the pond, the creaking and slamming of the wooden screen door and the hissing flames in the fire pit.
In recent years, a phone has been installed along with modern plumbing.
I remember a time when we would
walk across the road to the creek with our buckets and retrieve water for doing dishes
and bathing (after we heated it), or we had the option of bathing in the creek, which we really did
choose to do, especially in the summer. To this day, I still have my little own tradition of washing my hair in the freezing water, even if it is too cold to swim - in remembrance of those "bathing" experiences. I love the refreshing feeling! Each time I hold my breath though, for what if my hair follicles freeze and expand and then when they thaw all my hair falls out? jk!
There was only an outhouse, which was only intimidating if the need to go was at night time,
but now there is a real bathroom plus a shower stall - spoiled indeed! :)
Below you will see a pictorial tour of our vacation....
My boys want to live here.......
living out of suitcases
Clay bird shooting
see the clay bird and smoke of gun
Gathering for meals
My mom and youngest great grandchild, Toby
Swinging - one of my favorite things to do at cabin - sit on the swing and read or snuggle :-)
Without feeling guilty of not doing dishes or laundry!
Beauty of God's Creation
Maybe not everyone's vision of Heaven, but it certainly was ours this past weekend!
Great time with family making memories, good fun, delicious food, and safety.
The women each provided one meal, which meant that I only had to worry about preparing one meal the whole time there, plus no laundry to think about (until we got home that is), and no school books demanding our attention. Yup! Vacation it was!