Friday, December 31, 2004

New Year's Day
by Carolyn Arends

I buy a lot of diaries
Fill them full of good intentions
Each and every New Year's Eve
I make myself a list
All the things I'm gonna change
Until January 2nd
So this time I'm making one promise

This will be my resolution
Every day is New Year's Day
This will be my resolution
Every day is New Year's Day

I believe it's possible
I believe in new beginnings
'Cause I believe in Christmas Day
And Easter morning too
And I'm convinced it's doable
'Cause I believe in second chances
Just the way that I believe in you

This will be my resolution
Every day is New Year's Day
This could start a revolution
Every day is...

One more chance to start all over
One more chance to change and grow
One more chance to grab a hold of grace
And never let it go

Repeat chorus

© 1997 running arends music/New Spring Publishing, a division of Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP)

Thursday, December 30, 2004

My New Teapot

My dear husband was thoughtful in many ways this Christmas...this is just one of them, the Debbie Mumm teapot he gave me:) There is a scripture along the black rim from Psalm 57..."May Your glory be over all the earth..." He is such a thoughtful husband!

Speaking of thoughtful, our dear friend, Arilee, presented Les with a very thoughtful gift as well... it was a red eyelash scarf for me?!! My husband adores me in the lilac one she made me last Christmas and had commented that he'd sure like to see me in a red one too...his wish was granted;) Arilee, you're the best!
A good thing...

So far, Christmas celebrations have been mostly about family this year. We had both of our families in on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On Boxing Day we met my family for a quick supper as it would be the last time to see my sister before she went back to Lloydminster, and on New Year's we will be having both families over again (well, except for those that are heading to the Blades' game...) Les has pretty much worked every day of the holidays, and I think I've cleaned my house 3 times this past week and need to do it again before New Year's. My friend Tami asked me if I was 'crazy' having the families over again for supper on New Year's. She's right, I end up spending most of my time in the kitchen and running around after them all day, but it's tradition to have family in on New Year's and I told her that she is welcome to join us. My employer gives me a ham at Christmas each year and I cook it on New Year's. Tami said, 'no thanks'...she's had enough family so far this year (no offense meant and none taken:)

So far we've only had one opportunity to be with friends over the holidays... Arilee and Aurora came over for supper and games the night before last. It was so much fun (and nice and laid back). As we were talking, Arilee brought up how sometimes she feels closer to some friends than family. I can relate. It's not that I don't love our extended family, it's just that I share some pretty deep bonds with several kindred friends...they are familia to me:) Somehow I can just relax more in their presence. They build me up and fill my heart. Now I'm looking forward to lunch with one of them tomorrow. 'It's a good thing!'

Monday, December 27, 2004

Kelly and Brooke (and Molly) Graham are blogging again at

...and Brooke's mom, Donna has a thought provoking post today that you should check is a excerpt:

"The good old dictionary tells me that content means "happy enough with
what one has or is, satisfaction. Then contented is "not desiring something more
or different". In an odd sort of way, I found it interesting that "contention"
was followed by content in the dictionary...."contention - verbal strife,
argument, dispute....struggle" How many of us are actually content with our
place in life, where we are at, what we look like, what we have or do not have?
It seems the norm to want more, do better, be thinner, look better. Our friends
have it all, so I need it too.....the grass is always greener, right? here is a
little Donna-deal...I am in need of a new couch...our poor fella has seen a lot
and is looking a little more than shabby. I have noted over the past few months
that wouldn't it be nice to have a new couch for Christmas when all the family
was here. But the funny part was not one person noted that the couch was not so
new, we sat and chatted enjoying each others company just the same on the old
couch as we would have on a new. Now, don't get me one was sitting on
the floor because the springs have given out on that old we were
comfortable. It wasn't about the couch it was about the presence of friends and

.....contentment lies in my heart knowing I am happy and satified with my
life as it is, for the moment, in the moment. A little note here, strive and
strife are also not that far apart in the dictionary. Striving for what makes
you "think" will bring you happiness just may be the cause of the strife in your
life. Satan is known as the "divider" for a very good reason....and I think that
he placed certain definitions of "want" into our vocabulary for a
purpose.....because when I looked up the word "want" in the dictionary...I was
surprised at the pictures that ran through my head. Want - to lack, crave, to be
destitute or impoverished. I may not have the biggest house, the best car, all
the "toys" that others have....but, I am content. I lack very little! "

For more go to

Today's devotion ( really spoke to me personally:)
Merry Christmas!

I know it is December 27th and my wishes are sounding late, but let me set the record straight.... Christmas is not over after the 25th. On the Church calendar, the 25th is really just the first day of Christmas...Christmas carries into January and the Feast of Ephiphany (celebrating the visit of the three kings). But at our house, I heard my own dad pronounce, after the presents were opened, 'well, it's all over for another year!'... Nope, not even close... Because even beyond the Church calendar, there is how we carry Christmas in our hearts every day:)

Christmas has been busy again this year, but really good. Les worked an early shift (unfortunately and fortunately he's working almost every day over the Christmas break), so that shifted a few of our traditions, but it was all good. We were still able to have both sides of the family over for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Christmas Eve we attended the service at Emmanuel Baptist Church... What a wonderful place that is! Our dolly was part of the service. She and her dance class performed 'Breathe of Heaven'... which was breath-taking and had me in more than a few tears! Then we had our families over to our house for munchies and fun.

On Christmas morning, I got up early when Les left for work and did my devotion in the quiet of the early morning. Then Miss Amanda got up and discovered that Santa had been here! She got a note from Rudolf and you'll never guess where Santa left his key. She opened her gift from Santa and her stocking from Mom and Dad, and then we headed downstairs to light the advent wreath. The two of us sang every Christmas carol we knew that talked about Jesus and lit all the candles. Then we read the Christmas story in Luke and Matthew. Amanda played and I made brunch for us and busied around getting the turkey in the oven and making cranberries. Les got home around 2 and then the three of us did some of our family traditions and shared our gifts for one another. We gave Amanda a cd boombox for Christmas, and she spent the next hour performing in her room along with Hillary Duff (singing into her hairbrush!...oh that brings back memories:) Les' folks came over and then my folks along with my brother and sister. We were all spoiled wayyyy too much.

There were nine around my Christmas table this year, and I was very grateful it was nine not eight. It was the first Christmas in many that my sister made it home...and the first one that Amanda has spent with her. I'm very grateful for how close to peaceful the families came together...and also for the fact that the turkey and fixings turned out:)

After dinner we visited more, went for walks and played games...t'was a good day indeed:)

Monday, December 20, 2004

Candlelight and PFK...

This is what my husband and I enjoyed on our date night last Thursday before he took me to see 'Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason'.

'French cuisine?' you ask. No, no... PFK is KFC en francais! I was getting over a sore throat that day, but Les was still eager to take me on our date. Earlier in the day though, he asked me if I really felt like eating out. I said, "Whatever you would like dear..." He suggested that he could pick up some KFC and we could eat at home before the movie...that way I wouldn't have to cook. I wriggled up my nose (just a bit) and said, "You don't really want KFC, do you, hun? We should probably choose something better for us..." He moved on to something else, but less than an hour later, with a glint in his eye he suggested that he pop out and pick up some chicken for us to enjoy while we watched a program together. I had just finished all my work, and in that moment I realized that to him this was as big of a treat as a bento box at Earls is to me, so I said, "Sure:)"

While he was out, I ran downstairs and set up the card table diagonal to the couch, then I set the table, and then I lit the candles. During our meal, Les pointed out that we were dining "en PFK"..."Oui," I said, "Poulet frit a Kentucky!" He said, "It sounds better in French!'" Mais, oui!

The Edge of Reason was a very good movie (apart from a bit of the language). I enjoyed the character development. There is something about Bridget that I think almost every woman can relate to...especially if she was single until after she was 30. I think her self-esteem developed in the film as she became more comfortable with who she was. Mark Darcy continued to like her 'just as she is' her even:) Which is every girl's be loved for who she really is. It's funny, during the first Bridget Jones, she and I were both single, and by this one we had both found the 'one'! It's interesting to hear others opinions on which of the two leading men they would choose. For me, it's no contest...Mr. Darcy, of course (he shares so many great traits with my handsome hubby), but I have friends who would choose Daniel Cleaver... I don't get it...don't think he's even cute (a person's heart so much affects what I see, I guess). But there will always be those girls who like those bad boys... I, for one, am happy that they portray this movie's good guy, Mr. Darcy, with a bit of an edge though...he's good, but he has an edge (remember Bridget's comment in the first movie...

Bridget: "Wait a minute... nice boys don't kiss like that!"
Darcy: "Oh yes they do!!"

"I truly believe that happiness is possible... even when you're thirty-three and have a bottom the size of two bowling balls." Bridget Jones

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I have an hour... hour alone...Amanda is at a sleepover and Les is at work for another hour. I have just gotten home from dropping Amanda off and picking up milk...I should be doing laundry or housework, but instead I'm sitting here, soaking my feet for a few minutes, perusing a few blogs to catch up on how people are doing. For the next hour I'm going to indulge me a bit...I don't remember the last time that happened. I'm going to soak for a few more minutes, then I'm going to pamper with lotions, then I'm going to paint my toes red for Christmas. Yes, I know Christmas will come without me doing that, but I'm thankful tonight for have these few minutes for me...and even more thankful that at the end of them, I'll get to spend some time cuddled up with the man who continues to capture my heart:)

Monday, December 13, 2004

God, time and a princessheart...

I've been reflecting on how we can't even fathom how God and time interact, and how the past, present and future are seen by Him, the author of our lives, almost in a different dimension. Last night I was reading more in my princessheart book :) ...and there was a great quote from C. S. Lewis that gave me a new perspective. Lewis said that when he is writing a story, he may write that a woman was journaling about something and then suddenly someone entered the room. For his character there is no break, she is journaling and then immediately someone walks in the room; however, for the author, that is not all there is with regard to time. The author may have paused in the middle of his character's two actions and thought about her for three hours. She may not even be his main character, but he can move in out of the story he's telling to focus on her and how the events will affect her...past, present and future. Interesting.....I've been thinking about God like that this the author and creator of me (and you). I've long understood with my mind that nothing happens to me that isn't sifted through His hand, but perhaps this gives me a fuller perspective on the matter...the thought that God, as the author, spends time focused on me throughout the story He causes to (and sometimes lets) heart finds this a precious thought:)

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Mike Gingerich ( has a post on holiday eating that made me laugh...if only, if only....

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Sometimes I wish I wasn't so emotional.... this week when it got the best of me and I broke out in tears after a meeting, in front of my boss. Oh how I wish that hadn't happened, but I can't take it back. I try to be so professional at work and try to get my point across through logical debate...making myself fit into the male world I find myself in. I just got so frustrated and stressed and my feelings got the better of me. I don't think I said anything that wasn't fair or true, but if I could take that moment back, especially the tears, I would. And now a couple of days later, I keep focusing on my weaknesses (even those that weren't part of that situation) and I feel insecure. In truth, I don't really wish I wasn't so's a part of me that God put there...but oh how I wish I hadn't shown it there. Pray for me, if you think of me, that God would make everything ok.

This song spoke to me this morning...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

OneHouse posted this quote from Henri Nouwen today which I thought was profound for advent and for life...

A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Impatient people are always expecting the real thing to happen somewhere else and therefore want to go elsewhere. The moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Waiting, then, is not passive. It involves nurturing the moment, as a mother nurtures the child that is growing in her. Zechariah, Elizabeth, and Mary were very present to the moment. That is why they could hear the angel. They were alert, attentive to the voice that spoke to them and said, “Don’t be afraid. Something is happening to you. Pay attention.”

Amanda worship-danced at Emmanuel's childrens Christmas Party last night. It was beautiful!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I think I need to get out more...

Last night I went to the women's Christmas event at our Church with my longest-living-friend, Caroline. My friend and sister-at-heart, Alana, reserved a whole table, and we had so much fun! It's been a long time since I was out with 'the girls'...and I think I need to do that more often. Alana has often told me that it's good for our families when we go out because then 'they appreciate us more afterward'. Well, there was evidence of that when I got home last night...

In my absense, Les took Amanda to dance class and out for supper afterward. I made one small request of them before I left. I asked Les if he would please make their lunches for today. And I have an awesome husband (a cute one too!), so, of course, that was handled by the time I got home. He made Amanda's lunch and actually managed to get her to help fetch a few things for it (how'd he get her to do that without complaint?!) For his own lunch he packed an apple, a granola bar and said he'd buy the rest of his lunch at the caffeteria at work (which is fine with me, he deserves a treat once in a while too). Then he commented to me that 'it's a lot of work making lunches every night'. He seemed surprised at how long it takes. He also mentioned that Amanda even commented while having her bedtime snack that that was a lot of work?! (A lot of work, eh? try doing it every night after you've worked all day, made supper and cleaned-up the lion's share of the kitchen mess... I am not complaining... I lovingly choose to do these things for my family everyday because I adore them, but it did my heart some good hear that they understand now just a little bit more of what goes into all of that... It's nice to be appreciated:) I think I need to get out more...

Friday, December 03, 2004

If you have been doing the 'Follow the Star' advent devotions that I have been, you might have encountered a problem this morning...for me, only the headings came up, no word of God, etc. If this happens for you, re-enter the site and instead of proceeding with the day's devotion, click on 'archives' in the lower left hand corner, then pick the current date on the calendar and begin the devotion. I don't know why this works...just that it works:) I've been really getting alot out of following the star...

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Couldn't resist posting these...

Amanda was a cat this past hallowe'en, and I just got the pictures back...such an adorable cat!

Aurora was sleeping beauty, and Les took the two undeniably adorable best friends treating...

Sunflower Girlies!

(Yes, that is the Auntie-extraordinaire that you see in there!)



Wednesday, December 01, 2004

This is Who You Are

I know I post a lot of lyrics on here at times...lyrics speak to my heart. If you tend to skip over the lyrics and skim on, I'm asking you to slow down today and read the lyrics because this is who you are...

Who You Are
Carolyn Arends

Built from clay and breath of God
This is who you are
Made to house eternal love
This is who you are
Matter and spirit combined
This is who you are
Temple for the Lord Most High
This is who you are

Echo of creation’s song
This is who you are
Remnant of the Chosen Ones
This is who you are
Ember of a holy fire
This is who you are
Object of the King’s desire
This is who you are

Who you are, who you are
Who you are, who you are
Heaven sings this song to you…
This is who you are

Little lamb who wanders off
This is who you are
One the Shepherd won’t leave lost
This is who you are
Rescued by His sacrifice
This is who you are
Now the hands and feet of Christ
This is who you are

Who you are, who you are…

Hear the Father call your name
Shine with His eternal flame
Bear His image in your soul
This is who you are
Listen ‘til you finally know
This is who you are

C 2004 Songs of Peer, Ltd / Mr. Marley's Music (ASCAP)

Today I discovered a wonderful online advent devotional...just click on the banner below...

"My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea." - Tommy Douglas

Canada, here are your Top 10 Greatest Canadians, in order of votes received:

1 Tommy Douglas
2 Terry Fox
3 Pierre Elliott Trudeau
4 Sir Frederick Banting
5 David Suzuki
6 Lester B. Pearson
7 Don Cherry
8 Sir John A. Macdonald
9 Alexander Graham Bell
10 Wayne Gretzky

For more on the results see