Monday, December 31
We left on the 27th, as planned. Rain to Windsor/Detroit and a 2.5 hour wait at the border. The boys were bored at that point, but soon settled in once we were moving. We stopped for the night in Newport, KY and in the morning went to the Newport Aquarium on the Levee. We had a delicious breakfast at Mrs. Fields and lunch at Johnny Rockets, a 50s type diner. The boys enjoyed seeing what hamburger joints were like way back in Grandma and Grandpa's day.
We are currently staying about an hour from Disneyworld. We chose not to attend Disney on New Year's Eve because of wall to wall crowds. Instead we stayed in the hotel, had a swim and watched movies on the boys' portable DVD player. Tomorrow we plan to go to Sea World.
Just wanted to update everyone and let you all know that we are fine and have arrived safely. I will try to give you and update from time to time. I also want to check and see how everyone is doing, but computer time is limited here.
Happy New Year to all my friends and readers. May each of you receive abundant blessings, good health, prosperity and the love of family and friends. Talk to you soon. ~Blessings, Mary~
Thursday, December 27
Wednesday, December 26
Girly Comments & Graphics
I would like to thank all of my friends and readers for their prayers and kind words during the Christmas season. As most of you know, we are leaving for Florida on Thursday morning. We will be gone for about two weeks. We're planning on being home on January 11th or 12th. I will catch up on all of your posts when I get back and I want you all to know that I will miss you. I will keep each of you in my prayers while I'm gone. Take care, stay healthy and please pray that our trip will be safe.
Happy New Year to each of you. May 2008 bring you good health, happiness and the love of family and friends.
Monday, December 24
I have met some wonderful blogger friends since I joined this community in September and I cherish each one of you. May the Light of Christmas shine in your hearts and homes this holiday season.
Love and blessings,
For unto us a child is born, and this shall be the sign. You shall find Him wrapped in swaddling clothes, laying in a manger.
Sunday, December 23
Saturday, December 22
"May I help you?" I asked a little impatiently.
"I was wondering if you had a little something that you could spare me to eat," he said, "and maybe a hot cup of tea or coffee?"
I sighed. I didn't have time for this. But as I looked at this poor soul shivering in the cold, I couldn't refuse him. Though my daughter and I had little food in the house, I said, "I don't have much, but I can make you some toast and peanut butter and a warm cup of tea."
"That would be great," he said, rubbing his hands together and blowing on them to try to get them warm.
I wasn't going to let this stranger into my house. I didn't know him and he was a tall man, probably about 6' 2" and his hands were huge. He had a stocky build and I knew that if he wanted to, he could knock me down in an instant. Yet he had the most kind, blue eyes - so blue that it seemed I could look into the depths of his soul.
"Do you mind waiting here?" I asked.
"Not at all," he answered. "Thank you."
I made the man four slices of toast and spread them thickly with peanut butter while the tea was brewing in the pot. I put the food on a paper plate and poured the strong amber tea into a cup. I took them to the step where the man stood and handed the food and tea to him.
"Thanks kindly, Maam," he said.
I went back into the house and went about my business. Before long, I decided to check to see if the man had finished the food and tea. He had, so I poured him another cup of tea and asked him if he could use a warm pair of gloves. I had a pair that had belonged to my late husband and knew that they weren't doing anyone any good on the shelf in the closet. I also took him a pair of work boots that had been my husband's.
As I handed the man the boots and gloves, tears welled in his rheumy eyes. "Are you sure, Maam?" he asked.
"Most definitely," I assured him.
The man sat down on the step and placed the boots on his feet. A perfect fit. Then he pulled the gloves onto his beet-red hands. They also fit perfectly.
I walked into the house and remembered that I had some cookies and a cake in the freezer. I grabbed them and ran out of the house to give them to him. He was nowhere in sight.
We lived in the middle of the block. A church was on one side and a power transformer on the other. I ran to the corner and looked up and down the street. Nothing. I ran around the corner to the church. Again there was no one in sight. Where could he have gone? He hadn't had time to get far enough away that I couldn't see him. How strange!
A week later on Christmas Eve, a taxi pulled up to my door. The driver brought in two large boxes of food. There was everything in those boxes for a Christmas dinner. A turkey, stuffing, bread, butter, potatoes, cranberries, vegetables, candy, cookies and so much more. Who in the world had been so generous?
I asked the cab driver who had sent the boxes, but he said he didn't know. He had been called to a local grocery store and a man had asked him to deliver the boxes to my address. The man hadn't given him a name and the cab driver really didn't understand it. "He looked like a street person," he told me.
As I put the food away, I remembered something that Grandma had told me. "Always be kind to strangers, as you may be entertaining angels unaware."
As I thought of my grandmother's words, shivers ran along my spine. Had the old man been an angel? I believe he was. Whether a heavenly angel in disguise or an earthly angel, he provided our family with a wonderful Christmas feast.
As Christmas approaches each year, I think about my Christmas angel and wonder where he is and who he's helping this year. I certainly hope that whoever it is appreciates his gift as much as my daughter and I did so many years ago.
Friday, December 21
Next is the red barn that Mom gave to me three years ago. Being a farm girl, she thought it would add a unique twist to my village and so it does. I love it.
A village just wouldn't be the same without a train. This is one that Dwight's mother gave to us the first year we were married. The boys both love trains and this is a special piece to all of us.
Then there is the Post Office and the Carriage Maker building that Dwight gave to me a few years ago. They are an integral part of an old fashioned village.
The snow couple beside the Post Office was another gift from the boys. Don't they look happy while strolling along in the snow?
Santa has been talking to the kids outside of the Carriage Maker's shop. He is bald. hehe. I guess he forgot his hat. I hope he doesn't catch cold. Who would deliver all of the presents on Christmas Eve if Santa got sick?
Above is the entire village lit up at night. That is a Santa in the window, but I have him facing onto the street. He lights up as well and I have no way of hiding the cord. Notice the stone bridge across the stream just to the right of the barn. The boys wanted a creek in the village three years ago, so I went to the dollar store and bought some turquoise tissue paper. I cut it and we lay it under the snow. It looks very authentic. You can see it in a couple of the photos above. Right behind the Post Office and in front of the train. How lovely that the train runs along the creek. Now all I need to do is find some skaters.
Believe it or not, Brandon and Jordan put this all together. Grandpa and I unpacked the village and the boys set it up. Then Grandpa plugged in all the buildings. This is a Christmas tradition at our house. The boys always set up the village after Grandma places the snow and the creek.
It was lots of fun watching the boys rediscover each new piece. There is a church that goes with the village, but so far we haven't come across it this year. I'm going to have to dig deeper into the closet where I keep all of the Christmas decorations. Brandon really wants the church to be a part of the village since we aren't having a Christmas tree this year.
I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the very special Christmas decorations that I've collected over the years. It just wouldn't be Christmas without them.
Thank you for stopping by. May the Light of Christmas shine in your homes and your hearts this holiday season. ~Blessings, Mary~
Wednesday, December 19
Anyway, we were both fine, except for my ear infection. Our blood pressure and all that tricky stuff was all under control. So, after making an appointment for six weeks, we left and headed home. On the way is this little store that always has the most wonderful things all year 'round. Hubby pulled into the driveway and we headed inside to look around. Their Christmas decorations and ornaments are always beautiful and reasonably priced. I buy many gifts at this store.
Well, lo and behold there are Santas galore, (Anni, you would have loved it) snowmen, snowladies, Christmas bears, reindeer and every other Christmas decoration you would ever imagine. They had yule logs with cardinals that were tealight holders. Near the back of the store we found a shelf of Christmas angels and fairies. These are some of my favorite things and hubby knows it.
Here is what he got me. She is divine. Another to add to my collection of very special angels.
Mom loved hers. We gave it to her early as we won't be at her house this year when she has Christmas dinner. She always has her big dinner near New Years so all of the kids and grandkids can go to their relatives on the opposite side of the family for Christmas Day. She is a special lady.
I wish all of my friends and readers a safe and Merry Christmas. May the Light of Christmas shine in your hearts and in your homes. ~Blessings, Mary~
Tuesday, December 18
Myspace Christian Comments & Graphics
Once again, I request prayer for several people. There seems to be so much need at this time of year. Some are alone and have no family and or friends. Some are financially destitute and don't know how they are going to get their kids anything for Christmas. People are living on the streets in the bitter cold and are not sure if they will survive until morning when the temperatures dip. In my part of the country there is lots of snow and yes, they can dig a snow cave or tunnel into the drifts to keep warm, but it is still very scary to be living outside in winter.
As per yesterday's post, please remember to pray for both US and Canadian troops who are overseas or who are in their homeland but will not be able to be home for Christmas. Our men and women in uniform need our prayers constantly, so please add them to your prayer list.
Those that I know personally who need prayer are as follows:
My mother, who is still fighting the lung infection she's had for months. Nothing seems to be touching it. She's had antibiotics and inhalers. She gets a little better and then gets worse again. She can no longer take the new inhaler, as she had an allergic reaction to it, or so thinks the pharmacist.
My daughter, who just found out she has a cyst in her cervix or on an ovary. She's not sure and has to go for an ultra sound on Thursday. She's been having a lot of pain.
Kathleen Marie at The Open Window Kathleen hasn't been feeling well.
Deena at Can I Be Pretty in Pink? Deena had surgery last week for breast cancer. She will soon be giving us the reports from her lab work. Please stop by and say hi.
Deena's friend, Church, who kept us all updated when Deena had her surgery is also in need of prayer. Church's mother passed away on Saturday evening.
Mary at Isabella's Closet Mary is going through a difficult time right now. Please lift her up in prayer.
Karen at Karen's Korner Our prayers from a day or so ago were answered. Karen's husband did find a job, but please continue to pray for her family. Her husband will start his new job in the New Year. This has been a tough year for this family.
Cynthia at Walking On Cynthia is struggling with some issues right now. Read more on her blog.
Diane at Diane's Place Karen at Karen's Korner had posted that Diane was ill. I visited her blog and she is not feeling well at all. Her granddaughter Emmy had been sick and apparently Emmy passed it on to Grandma. That happens when you have grandchildren. I will pray that both Diane and Emmy recuperate fully so they can enjoy Christmas together.
Naturegirl at Nature Trail She had a fall and now has a cast. She is finding it difficult to move around on crutches.
Glo at Young at Heart is requesting prayer for Brandi's kidneys to begin working on their own. She lost a long time family friend today and has requested prayer for Sarah's family. Visit Glo's blog to find out more.
My friend, Bertha,s mother-in-law. I asked for prayer for her back a while because she had been taken to hospital. They had called the family together. Now, she is having trouble swallowing.
I would also like to ask for prayer for myself. I have water on the ear and a badly infected right ear. This has been a problem for me for many years and sometimes I get it so bad that I can't walk straight - you know that old equalibrium. I don't need this with Christmas and our vacation coming up. If I can't go two little boys are going to be extremely disappointed.
Thanks so much for including the above people in your prayers. If I've forgotten anyone, I apologize. My prayer list is very long right now and I try to remember everyone. If you'd like to be put on my prayer list, just let me know. ~Blessings, Mary~
It's Kelly's Birthday. Kelly's blog is Diary of a Caregiver. Please drop by and wish her a Happy Birthday. Kelly is Carolyn at Talk to Grams, daughter. Happy Birthday, Kelly. You are a wonderful daughter. Enjoy!
Monday, December 17
It is very important that we support our troops. Whether you stand behind our governments in their choices is really up to you, but the troops need our love and support.
Other important people to remember are your paper boy/girl/adult and your mailman/lady. These people trudge through rain, sleet, snow, lightning storms, fog and face skunks to get our paper to us on time so we can enjoy it. The least we can do is give them a little something to show we appreciate their service. How about a sampling of your Christmas baking?
Remember the elderly couple next door. Do they need their walk shoveled during the winter? Give them an IOU for snow shoveling. And that single mother down the street who struggles to keep her family together - she would appreciate an IOU for a couple of hours babysitting. Yes, her kids may be a handful, but how do you think she feels coping with them 24/7. Maybe she is just too tired to teach them proper manners. She may be lonely, financially destitute or just plain tuckered out. She would be ecstatic if someone would give her a couple of hours off.
There are dozens of others that I could mention, but these are the ones that I can think of right now. Use your imagination and give the gift of love. ~Blessings, Mary~
Sunday, December 16
Lots of snow has fallen since yesterday. The weatherman said it wouldn't start snowing until 7 am, however there was sleet from 1 am to 7 am, when it turned to snow. It was to stop by 1 pm, but here it is almost 3 pm and it is still coming down. It is a fine snow but is accumulating very quickly. Here are a few photos for everyone who lives in areas where snow doesn't fall. Enjoy!
Above is a photo of our driveway and part of the side year. There is quite a bit of snow there.
Above photo is of our side year and our little ornamental cherry tree.
And Meeko, King of the Snow Dogs. Guess I wore him out when he was pulling me along on our walk. He is ready for a nap now and so am I.
This is the street at the side of our house. You can see the snow piled at the corner. The neighbor's cedar hedgerow is laden with snow today and looks so pretty all dressed in a lacey white gown.
This is the front steps. You can get an idea of how much snow we have from this photo and it is still snowing.
The above graphic is one of my Christmas postcards from my collection. This one is for Anni, but anyone that would like a copy is more than welcome to help themselves. May the Light of Christmas shine in your hearts and home. ~Blessings, Mary~
Saturday, December 15
The graphic at the top of this post is one of my Christmas postcards. If you would like to take a copy of the graphic, you are welcome. Merry Christmas from my home to yours. May the Light of Christmas shine in your heart and in your home. ~Blessings, Mary~
Friday, December 14
The card depicts the Nativity. This is the inside, which is a pop-up. The stable is 3-D.
Thank you, Sharon. This card is so beautiful. It will be going into my card collection once that Christmas is over.
Well, that is Show and Tell for me for this week. I hope you enjoyed seeing my lovely angel and the beautiful card. Both of these things are very special to me. Love you, Sharon.