Posted in Christy's Concepts, Family

Christmas Traditions

Definition of TRADITION

1
a : an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or asocial custom)b : a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable
2
: the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction
Christmas is a conglomeration of traditions.  Traditions of ‘mothers’ family, ‘father’ family, church family, religious background, neighborhood, city, state, nation etc….
Christmas being here, in 2 days, is bringing on memories of Christmas pasts. I was thinking of MY childhood Christmas’ .  My memories from childhood are nothing but joyous. I really only remember the good from Christmas.  The only oddness of this is my other childhood memories, not involving Christmas are pretty evenly good and BAD memories. I was not perfect, my parents were not perfect, my brothers were not perfect– Yet at Christmas I only remember good.   Except…. a few Christmas memories include my crying, almost hysterically, while my parents were taking the traditional Christmas Eve posed in front of the tree or fireplace in the new Christmas Eve PJ’s photo.I actually do not know why I cried, only that I did. It was the customary pattern.  I also remember myself to be a bit too old to be crying over this tradition of picture.  Maybe I was getting into my PMS years.  Even the crying jags I had did not ‘ruin’ the whole Christmas, actually the only real reminder is the picture themselves.
OUr traditions of Christmas consisted of hanging the stockings with care, if we did not have a fireplace, we would hang on a door, or wall or…Actually we only had one home I know of that had no fireplace. A present with the tag “Open December 24 was a tradition , along with the contents of such package being a new pair of PJ’s, usually a gown (for me not my brothers.)Standing in front of the tree with various family members, either with our newly opened present’s or prior too the opening (or both) was also a HAVE to event each year. the present’s had a ‘tradition also.  The one and only one on Christmas eve.  Then on Christmas morning, Santa Claus gifts would be sitting in front of the tree, or around the tree, with each recipients stocking propped against the gift.  The gift of course was never wrapped, Santa did not need to wrap.  The stocking had a few treasures; combs, pocket knife for the boys, Little Kiddle for me, pencils (my parents were teachers) an apple, an orange, mini chocolate candies from Hershey, and nuts.
      Another tradition was entering the living room.  We were never to get up and run to the room and view the Santa gift without Dad with a camera set up to catch the moment we spied our gifts.  Just as the photographer tries to catch the grooms face the first time he views his  bride coming down the aisle.  Christmas morning we were to get up, bathroom and brush our hair and teeth, but not change out of our Christmas PJ’s, , the opening of the presents was to photographed with everyone in PJ’s .  We were to look like Doris Day and Rock Hudson with our robes and house shoes and perfectly coiffed hair.   Dad would position himself ahead of us, in the living room, either ours or our grandparents (these are the only two places I ever experienced Christmas as a child) with the movie camera with BRIGHT light or years later camera with square cubed flash that never turned.  We would wait in the hallway till he gave the ok to come in.  I am sure this was a thrill for my older brothers, Kirk was 6 years  and Mike 11 older than I. Seriously, do the math, when I was of age to be anticipating the Santa display properly, I was at the least 4, Kirk would have been 10 and Mike 15.  Here they were waiting in the hall to be greeted with the blinding light from the movie camera, with glee, I am sure.
        Once the proper amount of pictures were taken of we eying our Santa booty, Dad would begin to pass out the presents.  No one was to open until all had received theirs.  Then some how we 5 would open our gifts in an orderly fashion that we all could be aware of the others opening, calling out as we opened one from someone , “Thank you Mom and Dad, or Mamaw and Pawpa, or Sibling Name for the ball, doll, book…
          Next would come the clean up, traditional, save the big pieces of paper and ribbon style.  Breakfast was traditionally not much. Then dressing in something given as a gift.  Setting our gifts out on our beds, so we could eye them all day. The traditions go on and on.
           My parents were both teachers, so our Christmas began with the letting out of school and lasted until we went back to school, about 2 weeks.  Christmas was not just Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for me, it was a real vacation.  The family was all together, my parents were there every morning, every breakfast, every lunch every dinner.  For awhile, until my brothers grew and moved out, we all five would be HOME, and when my grandparents came they were with us for days, if we went to them again days and days.  Or at least that is how I remember it.
     Now that I am grown and have gone through my own Christmas traditions, my own family growth, I know that the memories I have are as magical as Christmas.  From the time I was 11 my dad had a second job, to pay for all credit card splurges, he worked at Sears, and Montgomery Wards, there is no way he was home for those 2 weeks.  My brothers, both moved out on their own when they were 18, so from the time I was 8 MIke did not wait in the hall with me, and I was totally on my own by the time I was 12.  Mom suffered from migraines regularly, especially if she was not needing to work, she spent most of her time in bed when she had a headache. My grandparents did not spend every Christmas with us, they shared time with Mom’s family and their other 2 daughters. My earliest memories are from about 4 years, IF we spent every 3 years with my grandparents, until my grandfather died and my grandmother moved to the nursing home when I was 18, that only gives me 5 Christmas’ with them.  The memories of the good, and not the negative, I suppose is also a tradition.
    We hear how important it is to make your own traditions in your family, apart from your childhood traditions.  I wonder.  I am actually thinking that the ‘traditions’ that tie us to the past, that are customary to insist upon having year after year, that disappoint if we do not ritually  act out– could possibly be the irritants at Christmas.  Making all the man made ideas happen.
    The reason for the season, to celebrate God’s love for us, his desire to come into our world and inhabit a human life form, so he could eventually experience a horrendous death of that body and take all of our sins upon himself go to death and conquer that death so we could have the opportunity to be ‘back’ with him forevermore. Remembering, passing down, that magical gift is the only tradition we should keep alive.
Posted in Christy's Concepts, My House that God built

OH Christmas Tree OH Christmas Tree

I can not believe I forgot to post a picture of my Christmas tree! Here it is! It has been up and ‘lighted up’ since Saturday, and decorated on Sunday.

Last year all the G Kids came over and we made cookies and  and and…. But this time only one set came. The LP Gkids came and helped me decorate, standing on the step ladder was the highlight for them all.   I had so hoped to set an annual event of all the Gkids coming and spending time with- And of course their parents if they wanted. But not this time.  One thing that has stuck (so far) is the placing of the Christmas Tree.  Each year one will choose the placement, starting with the oldest and  the next year the next one gets to pick the spot for the tree– the only rule is not in front of the TV.  I will move furniture if need. (I did this year) The oldest was  last year (the first Annual Picking the Place of TheTree Event). This year #2 picked the placement. If there are no more GKid additions, each GKid will pick every 6 years.

My giant tree- which is not real- we went fake when Lee (# 1 son) had his second asthma attack after pulling down the real tree.  I bought this tree, a couple of years ago, when we were still in our travel trailer while building this house (first time I ever never had a tree).  It was on clearance at Hobby Lobby, for—get this- $25- because the lights did not work.  The lights are not embedded in the branches, just wrapped around them.  The out lights were one string. The out lights had one bulb that needed to be pushed back in. So TA DA, I got a GOOOOOOOD deal, a great gift for not getting a tree for one Christmas.

Not being a close shot, you can not tell, the tree is cowboy themed. Rope for garland, red chili pepper covers for some of the lights, bandanas tied here and there, and cowboy type ornaments.  Keith will have nothing else.  It fits actually.  I am working on getting one of the tacky pink or purple Fake fake fake looking ones for the ‘Nonnie Room’ that will be mine!

Posted in Rants Raves

Pay it forward time!

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A great Thank YOU  to mother of wonder, author of the blog Labor of wonder for nominating and introducing me for and to the Versatile Blogger Award.  MOW has a great blog, filled with family, fun, football.

If I am understanding this nomination to Versital Blogger correctly, I now have a job to do.

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
  1. So here are the 15:

Back to Faith– Fred Lybrand, great friend, speaker, pastor, author

Baseballs Butterflies and Blessings– K is an amazing mom, blessed with amazing children. K’s children have physical disabilites, this is glimpse of her faith and God’s grace.

When He calls me, I will answer– Natalie is a missionary/teacher in Uganda- Her life, through HIM!

Goings on out in West Texas– Just linked up with Taylors blog, really good read!

Get Phyt.org:Neat site by two young College grads for youth and teens on health.

Celiac Family.com-Great site, recipes and such- (Kind of like….)

Soul Blind Ministry– Christian, study,search and find of Daniel Lyon, his testimony is enough.

ect.Espee Trading Co. Shannon is just starting out, with a passion! She is a seamstress and mom, horse woman, and great friend

Jules Gluten Free: Great GF site, lots of info, put together exceptionally well.

Searching for Middle Ground– Great new site I linked to-Real.

nomnomglutenfreebakery-gluten free blog– good food good news

A Girl Named Bong; AMAZING recipes and photos of.

Oats N Bows.– GF twenty something Sarah is soooo fun to read

The Ultimate Late Bloomer; Great blogger that happens to be GF

Celiac Central Bits and Bites– Another GF site, really informative and lots of worldwide info!

7 Things ABOUT ME.

  1.  I was a lifeguard for a season. At the community pool where I spent all my childhood days, it was a dream come true.
  2. I am adopted
  3. I talk to my pets and think they understand me and me them.
  4. I am not a very ‘good’ friend. I am friendly, but not a real ‘active’ friend.
  5. I AM an introvert, damn it! I am not shy, I enjoy the company of others and at times I talk to much. But I am an introvert.People suck the life out of me.
  6. I am a people pleaser. It is horrible. I have to apply “Am I now trying to win the approval of men or God.? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Gal 1:10. ” Dail I too often compromise what is right in order to please others.
  7. I dream, desire, hope and pray to weigh 125 lbs someday– And stay that way.  I have a long way to go.
Posted in Christy's Concepts, Exhort Pray Praise...

What Am I Thinking.

I have a thought:

thought 1 |θôt |noun: 1 an idea or opinion produced by thinking or occurring suddenly in the mind 

Produced-made up in my mind suddenly from an idea, whim,

idea |īˈdēə| noun: 1 a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action —a concept or mental impression 

Something possibly conjured up, from other ideas, facts, truths. make an opinion, my opinion from this ‘creation’ in my mind.

My opinion.

opinion |əˈpinyən noun a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge

May be based on truth, or knowledge

knowledge |ˈnälij | noun:1 facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject

But not necessarily. My opinion definately came from thoughts, ideas, conjured in my mind.And probably formed by a feeling a reaction to my thought, or my thought could have been a reaction to a feeling.

feeling |ˈfēli ng | noun:1 an emotional state or reaction( feelings) the emotional side of someone’s character; emotional responses or tendencies to respond :2 a belief, esp. a vague or irrational one 

A response from my emotional side. My Spirit? My Soul?My Flesh? Any. All.

emotion |iˈmō sh ən|   noun: a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others

My emotions are me, inside. Possibly born in me, fears. Placed in me, joy, love.  Learned from the past, from experiences. Based on my beliefs.

belief |biˈlēf| noun: an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists 2:( belief in) trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.

My beliefs are founded and unfounded. I try to know something is true before I accept it as my belief. Sometimes though I let my feeling decide. I believe truth. I believe fiction, at times, until I find it is. I believe in good and evil. I believe in things I think in my mind, because I believe them to be true. And like fictitious things, sometimes I find my thoughts to not be true, and I have to change my beliefs.  I put my beliefs in, my faith and trust in , my husband, my children, my friends, myself, my car, sometimes my government, my doctor, the ‘experts’. At times all of these fail me.  I can not put my trust in man, and expect it to never fail.   I believe in God, I believe He is truth, He is love, He is constant, He is always right, He never fails.

Then my belief, develops an attitude. Good and bad.

attitude |ˈatiˌt(y)oōd|  noun: A settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior

My behavior, my choices, my relationships are effected by my attitude. My thoughts are affected by my attitude, it comes full circle.

Thoughts, ideas, opinions,knowledge, feeling,emotions, belief- the dictionary list these all as nouns.  A noun- A person, place or thing.

I can control a thing. I can control what I think. I can choose to think on what is truth, what is good.

Psalm 34:14
Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.  

3 John 1:11
Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.

Romans 12:17
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.

My choice

  1. Matthew 22:37
    Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
  2. Mark 12:30
    And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first 
  3. Luke 10:27
    So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”

My choice to lead my heart.

Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence,   For out of it spring the issues of life. 

Out of my heart comes my thoughts.

Posted in Keith

My Man is Half a Century

 See the guy in the middle? Winking at you? That is my guy, Keith.  He turned 50 the night of the picture, he has a black badge on his shirt to prove it.  I have had him for 33 of his 50 years.  I met him and started being his when he was  17.  I was 16– WE have changed a bit.  Keith actually has not changed that much.  He is a strong man, physically, mentally,spiritually. Always has been. He is of good character, always has been. He has high standards he expects himself to meet, he does not accept failure in himself, again, always. Keith has always been  dependable. He is a leader. He believes in working, working hard, for your living. Keith is a friend to anyone who needs one. And to those who don’t need a friend, he leaves them alone. Keith loves, honors and protects those he is responsible for. He has a tough exterior, but he is a lover and poet on the inside.

The changes of Keith, since that fateful day at the pool where we met,  are not him, but his circumstances. Husband, Father, Grandfather, Builder, Carpenter, Supervisor, Harp Player, Gluten Free, Rum Drinker, Husband of a chunky chic. The list goes on, the additions to the Keith package.  He has done them all in the style and perfection of ‘Keith’. Well.

I love this guy. I forget sometimes. I will be looking at him, listening to him , watching him, and suddenly I realize HIM, I see him, clearly. I feel all the love, adoration and pride of him.  All the negative, ‘wish he woulds…’  memories of disappointments disappear. Then I remember , I LOVE this guy. He is an amazing man, and I have been blessed to have him in my life more than anyone else,– Ever.

Oh yeah, those other two guys,  Lee our oldest, is on the left and Brian our second son is on the right.  They don’t know it yet, but they have an awesome dad. I hope someday they can fill his shoes  boots.

Posted in Christy's Concepts, Exhort Pray Praise...

Winter Wouuunderland

This began last night just before we went to bed. I love the quiet, of snow fall. I stepped out side and could feel the quiet.

Our home is now a snow castle in a winter wonderland.

Mesquite trees (bushes) are shimmering with diamond dust.

The ordinary, became beautiful.

The beautiful became exquisite  works of art.

.Running and romping became pirouettes and jette pas

  Those things that we overlooked, that seemed to disappear

became clear to see again

Psalm 46:10  Be still and know I am God.

Posted in Rants Raves

Ye Haw It’s Winter!

Today we have 33 degrees and misty moisture stuff. Not snow yet, but you never know. Probably will have icy-ness tonight.  Oh, I love when the season changes, when it is supposed to!  West Texas has a habit of NOT having seasons correctly, especially here in Midland.  It is so odd to me that just 117 miles north, in Lubbock, where I spent most of my childhood, seasons do occur a bit more, by the book.   I had several white Christmas’ growing up. I think we have had maybe 3 in the 30 years we have lived here. I am probably de exaggerating, but we get maybe 1 snow compared to Lubbock’s 4 a year.   I am not complaining, too much, though, I know those up north get snow way TOO much, and I would NEVER wish snow everyday upon myself.

I like the opportunity to get my coats and sweaters out, wear my boots with out burning up by 3 PM, but the thrill of the cold wears off pretty quickly for me.  And west Texas Weather accommodates my weather wishy washiness pretty well in the winter. The temps will climb in the next few days, and we will have mid 70 weather a few days before we drop again.  I really do not have enough sweaters to have cold all winter long.

Today, I am taking advantage of the weather and making some Chicken tortilla soup  I adjusted the recipe a bit from the cookbook (My cookbook, Throw the Wheat in the Sea) I can do that since I am the author ;).  I used fresh (frozen) Hatch green chilies, I am not sure we will be able to eat the soup now, the taste test proves that we did get HOT chilies.  I am also cooking this on the stove top, instead of the crock pot. If it is impossibly hot, I think I will add sour cream to the bowl, when I serve.   I can adapt recipes like I adapt to the weather.