My True Happiness

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Will the Christ Child Come?

Many of you may have already read this, but my mom just emailed it, and I had to share. It's too good not to!

(Author - Gaye Willis)

Halfway through December, we were doing the regular evening things when there was a knock at the door. We opened it to find a small package with a beautiful ceramic lamb inside. We looked at the calendar and realized that the 12 days of Christmas were

We waited excitedly for the next night's surprise and only then, with the gift of a matching shepherd, did we realized that the lamb was part of a nativity set.

Each night we grew more excited to see what piece we would receive. Each was exquisitely beautiful. The kids kept trying to catch the givers as we slowly built the scene at the manger and began to focus on Christ's birth.

On Christmas Eve, all the pieces were in place, but the baby Jesus. My 12 year-old son really wanted to catch our benefactors and began to devise all kinds of ways to trap them. He ate his dinner in the mini-van watching and waiting, but no one came.

Finally we called him in to go through our family's Christmas Eve traditions. But before the kids went to bed we checked the front step - no Baby Jesus! We began to worry that my son had scared them off. My husband suggested that maybe they dropped the Jesus and there wouldn't be anything coming.

Somehow, something was missing that Christmas Eve. There was a feeling that things weren't complete. The kids went to bed and I put out Christmas, but before I went to bed I again checked to see if the Jesus had come - no, the doorstep was empty.

In our family the kids can open their stockings when they want to, but they have to wait to open any presents until Dad wakes up. So one by one they woke up very early and I also woke up to watch them. Even before they opened their stockings, each child checked to see if perhaps during the night the baby Jesus had come. Missing that piece of the set seemed to have an odd effect. At least it changed my focus. I knew there were presents under the tree for me and I was excited to watch the children open their gifts, but first on my mind was the feeling of waiting for the ceramic Christ Child.

We had opened just about all of the presents when one of the children found one more for me buried deep beneath the limbs of the tree. He handed me a small package from my former visiting teaching companion. This sister was somewhat less active in the church. I had learned over time they didn't have much for Christmas, so that their focus was the children. It sounded like she didn't get many gifts to open, so I had always given her a small package - new dishtowels, the next year's lesson manual-not much, but something for her to open. I was touched when at Church on the day before Christmas, she had given me this small package, saying it was just a token of her love and appreciation.

As I took off the bow, I remembered my friendship with her and was filled with gratitude for knowing her and for her kindness and sacrifice in this year giving me a gift. But as the paper fell away, I began to tremble and cry. There in the small brown box was the baby Jesus. He had come!

I realized on that Christmas Day that Christ will come into our lives in ways that we don't expect. The spirit of Christ comes into our hearts as we serve one another. We had waited and watched for him to come, expecting the dramatic "knock at the door and scurrying of feet" but he came in a small, simple package that represented service, friendship, gratitude, and love.
This experience taught me that the beginning of the true spirit of Christmas comes as we open our hearts and actively focus on the Savior. But we will most likely find him in the small and simple acts of love, friendship and service that we give to each other.

This Christmas I want to feel again the joy of knowing that Christ is in our home. I want to focus on loving and serving. More than that I want to open my heart to him all year that I may see him again.

Don't forget the reason for the Season

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Tag!

OK Skip, I guess it didn't take me as long as I thought!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Mostly wrapping. I love, love, love to wrap presents. But there are somethings that fit better in gift bags, and sometimes I don't have time to wrap everything. Even when I was little, my mom would put our presents in boxes and I would wrap them all. I never peeked because I love surprises!

2. Real tree or artificial? I wish I could say that I love real trees, but I'm artificial all the way. You can keep them up as long as you want, and move the branches where ever you want. And when kids (Avrie) pull them over because they have become all wrapped up in the lights, there are no needles all over the floor.

3. When do you put up the tree? I usually try to get everything up Thanksgiving weekend, but it just depends on the year.

4. When do you take the tree down? I'd leave it up all year if I could. I think one year Kyle took it down all by himself because he was sick of it.

5. Do you like eggnog? Yes and no. I have to be in the mood.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? That's really hard because they were all great (thanks mom). If I had to pick I would have to say the ones that were a surprise. I love the surprise, but I was not easy to surprise. Usually because I was picky and my mom didn't dare get something that I didn't like or didn't fit (sorry mom). Even when she tried to surprise me, my brother usually told me because he CANNOT keep a secret!

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Somewhere. I have the complete Boyd's Bear Nativity, but it's in storage.

8. Hardest person to buy for? You'd think it wouldn't be Kyle, but it is. I think he is even pickier than me. Although his dad is pretty hard too. It must be the Eyre genes.

9. Easiest person to buy for? Myself, seeing how I usually have to buy my own presents. I am pretty good at knowing what I want!

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't think I have ever gotten one. Oh wait, I did buy me a pair of jeans that looked really bad.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail

12. Favorite Christmas movie? It is hands down "The First Christmas" from Liken the Scriptures. I could listen to the angel Gabriel sing for hours and hours. It is really funny too. My girls watch it year round.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I like to have the majority done before Thanksgiving. Then I can enjoy the season and not be stressed. This year I didn't even start thinking about it until Thanksgiving and now I'm STRESSED! Can't find what I want, and there is not time left!!!!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Food. Although there is this apple cake with Carmel sauce that is to die for. I really like ham too. And pretty much any appetizer that is sitting around. Oh and all the yummy treats from everyone. Candy is really good. Chips and dip too. Alright ... FOOD!

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear. They go with everything and there is something pure about them.

17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night. Especially by Celine Dion. Her voice and that song - pure magic!

18. Travel for Christmas or stay home? Home - the more kids you get, the nicer it is.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph (I just copied yours Skip!)

20. Angel on the treetop or a star? How come bow is not a choice? Oh wait, it is a star this year. Usually it is a bow.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Like many, Jammie's Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas day.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? People wanting to call it a "Winter Festival". Have your "Winter Festival" in January. Leave my Christmas alone! You are more that welcome to celebrate what ever you want, how ever you want, but so am I. And I want CHRISTmas with "CHRIST" at the center of it all!

23. What I love most about Christmas? I don't think I have enough room to name it all. Or you would get really bored reading it all. I love it all!

Now I tag - Barbara, Kim, Heather, Tina and Tiff

{Lets take a look back}

For those who were following my Halloween saga, I now have some pictures to go along with it!

This is the result of the last-minute-Wal-Mart-run. Ashtyn decided that she was a "Spring Princess". I already had Avrie's snowman costume. That was one I have been able to recycle. Kenadee ended up being a "Vampires". The collar was suppose to stand up, but we could live with that. I'm just so glad we found something that they could live with.

This one shows how our afternoon went. After we got back from the parties at school, it was a mad rush to finish getting everyone dressed. Avrie decided that she was suppose to be a frog instead of a snowman, and refused to get dressed for 40 minutes. Where she got a frog, I have no idea. I have no frog costumes and couldn't remember seeing any lately that would give her that idea. So that put us 40 minutes behind, which in turn made us miss a birthday party we were suppose to go to, which in turn sent Ashtyn into an hour long tear fit. Hence - the picture. HAPPY DAY!

Here's the snowman once she finally decided it was OK not to be a frog.

Kenadee doing what she loves to do best - taking care of the babies! This is my brother's littlest, Charlee.

These are all the grand kids on my side. My three and my brother's four. Notice the six girls and the one lone boy. POOR SAM! At least he's got grandpa.

Back row: Charlee, Kenadee, Sam, Paytan, and Ashtyn

Front row: Avrie and Halle

Friday, December 7, 2007

20 COMMENTS - Whoohooo! I feel so special! We'll just look past the fact that I had to doctor the results (a lot). It was fun while it lasted. Thanks to all of you who left real comments :)

As far as the pictures go ... maybe "horrible" was too strong of a word. A better word would have been "disappointed". I was really disappointed when I got them developed. I really didn't have the time to spend all day fixing them. I debated if I should have even taken them in the first place. I'll try and quit being so hard on myself. Thanks to everyone for pointing that out.

Everything in my life right now has taken a huge effort to fix, and I was just wanting something to be easy. They did end up looking more like I wanted them to, so that made me happy. I know - WHAA WHAA. I'm trying to suck it up.

Kyle accuses me of overreacting sometimes - maybe there is some truth to that. Just don't tell him that I admit it!

Anne, this is for you:

1 - I have nice feet
2 - I'm pretty good at games

Are those good enough?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

HORRIBLE Pictures Turned ... A Little Less Horrible

So, it was time for Christmas pictures. I've been thinking about it for months, and had them all planned out in my head. And I just have to say that they looked really cute in my head. I had to take the girls up to the house because the light here -- pretty much stinks. Since the floors up there are still covered in Sheetrock dust, I had only a small area to work with. I had to use my smaller lens because I couldn't get far enough away with my bigger lens, and the light up there was not the best either.

Long story short, they turned out really badly. I think my small lens has seen the last of it's days because I can't hardly get it to focus anymore.

When I got them developed, I wanted to cry. I just wanted them to turn out so I didn't have to spend so much time in Photo Shop (like I did last year), but that was not to be.

I can say it has forced me into figuring out how to really work my photo shop program.

Why do I want you to see my complete failure? So everyone can know there is hope. It just takes a little magic( I use that word because it was not skill) and your pictures can be somewhat presentable. Anyway, the result.

Before :(


Before :(