Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year!

The old year will soon be over. As a whole, I'd say that this was a good year. We were able to take our dream vacation, a cruise to Alaska. That memory will live with me always. I had some medical tests done which came out showing healthy results. All year, I got to spend time with my grandson and watch him grow. He went from being an older baby to being quite the little boy. He talks, he plays games, and we have a special relationship going.

My daughter got a good job and she and her husband moved to Tennessee. They are enjoying the good weather there. Our other son is doing well and he and his wife have become pretty good cooks.

My husband successfully came through a knee replacement. He is much better. I had a year of learning a lot about myself and where I want to be with ministry and the Lord. He was so faithful to teach me so many new ways of growing. I am desiring to increase these lessons in the New Year.

I just read an email about the future which contained a dark cloud. I know the Lord's words don't change no matter what the situation. "Fret not." He has been my help from birth and I know that He will see me and my family through anything that is in the world. We belong to Him and that is such a comfort.

I believe the Lord wants us to expect good things. We can be prepared and should be, but He has the ability to care for us and all who come to Him and are under His sheltering arms.

So with these thoughts in mind, I'd like to give one last line from a carol, Joy To The World. "He comes to make, His blessings flow, far as the curse is found." Have a Happy New Year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Praise Time

A few weeks ago, I was just starting to get into the Christmas spirit. I had my music on C.D.s and I was happily singing along. When I got to my grandson's, he was playing with his advent calendar. He loves to play with the baby Jesus puffy decoration that goes on Dec. 25. He was putting it various places. I told him he had to treat it with respect. I said, "He grew up to be a very important man. In fact, He grew up to be ... and then I just started to sing the Hallelujah chorus. "King of Kings and Lord of Lords forever and ever..."

I looked at him at he was smiling. I sang it again and he raised his hands like I did and sang King of Kings, forever." We had our own little praise party, there in Ty's little bedroom.

On the way home I was listening to Hark The Herald Angels Sing. I love the line from the Amy Grant version "Come Desire of Nations come, fix in us thy humble home." Oh, yeah. And in O Come All Ye Faithful "Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing." Think about that one. And one more, in Joy To The World "Son of God, loves' pure light." May that light, sent by the Father, fill your heart, your home, and your world...forever and ever.

Merry Merry Christmas - Nancy

Friday, December 16, 2011

Remembering Birthdays

Do you have trouble remembering birthdays? Are you always sighing as you buy yet another belated card? I have a system that I hope can help you. Even if you are not delinquent, you may get a good tip. About this time of year, we throw away our used calendars. Take that back blank page and rip it off. You are going to make good use of this. (Cut off the spiral holes. You don't want to mess with that.) Go through your calendar and note on scrap paper any birthdays, anniversaries, or yearly occasions to remember. Look in your address book for more. If you don't have these, sit and see how many you can do from memory and write them down.

Now you are going go put these in order by months. When your list is right, transfer it to your calendar page. Leave spaces so you can add others that come along. You have a good starter list. Put these dates on your new calendar. I even put the birth date of young children from my address book so I can subtract and get a card with a big "2" or "5" or "8". Here's another trick. I put the date a bit ahead and write "get card" and "send card" about two or three days before the big day so they will be on time. If this sounds a bit much, remember that this can be a ministry and people love to be remembered.

Keep your list handy so you can add a name when someone happens to mention their birthday. They will say, "How did you know?" Be sure to look at your calendar often. It doesn't do any good to have this material on the wall if you don't look at it. This all takes time, but I think it is worth it.
New years is a good time to get deals on stationary. You may find some cute boxed assortments. They are much nicer than they used to be. Well, have a great week and enjoy every little thing God has given us at this wonderful season. Nancy

Friday, December 9, 2011

Are You Done Yet?

Are you an early shopper or a last minute shopper? I used to be a "middle shopper." I enjoyed going to stores when the Christmas music was at its height, but before the stores were depleted of all of the good stuff. Usually, I liked to start around the second week of Dec. and be finished by about the third week. If I had to do some last minute shopping because "someone" didn't have their list ready on time, well that was O.K. I was basically done and could enjoy the experience.

This year, nearly all of the people on my list have gift wish lists on the Internet. One day in early November, I started ordering gifts. They began to arrive and I ordered more. It turns out that I had most of my shopping done before Thanksgiving! This had never happened to me before. I also got busy and had a wrapping spree so that a day or two after putting up my tree on Nov. 25, I had lovely presents displayed beneath. Again, this was totally unheard of from me.

Well, my wonderful scheme went off track when one of my gifts wasn't arriving on time. This threw me off emotionally. And then I discovered new gifts that needed to be purchased. This caused me to be frustrated, not because of the gifts themselves, but because I thought I was done. Done feels so good.

Right now, I am mostly done and I do have a couple of last minute gifts to do. I don't mind. Remember, I enjoy doing those.

The reason I wanted so much to be done is that I love to just sit and look at my tree and enjoy Christmas music. I know we will have important occasions in Dec. and I don't want to be stuck shopping in the midst of them. I just want a little time to ponder the true miracle of Christmas without all of the extras. I must learn to be a person who snatches up little pieces of time and makes a special occasion of it. So in the end, I don't really care if I shop early, late, or some of each. I do enjoy the process of giving and I guess I just got stuck on the "done" thing. I don't want any more of that. The season is here to enjoy and I intend to enjoy it, shopping or not.

What about you? Are you an early or late shopper or somewhere in between? Do you have to be done to be happy? Not me, not anymore.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Frankenmuth, Michigan

Since I first arrived in Michigan, I have known about Frankenmuth. My parents and I took a quick side trip on my first arrival. It was very different then, very quaint. As you pass the beautiful covered bridge on your right, you see two large restaurants, one on each side of the road. Though they look very different, they are both owned by Zehnder's. The one on the right, (see picture,) is the German or Bavarian style of architecture and inside decor. Across the street is an American home style look, somewhat colonial, inside and out. They both serve the same family style chicken dinners.

You get the plates of chicken plus noodles, mashed potatoes, relishes, fancy rolls and bread and for dessert, ice cream. My family always loved these family meals. I do too, but I also love to go to a small room on the German side and have a great sandwich with Frankenmuth cheese.
There is a hotel in the Bavarian style and many of the shops all along the street have this theme. There is a cute cheese shop and a carving shop called the Schnitzelbank Shop. Down in the bottom of the restaurants are large gift shops and foods like breads and candy from all over.

Another great thing to do in Frankenmuth is shop for Christmas decorations and ornaments. That company is Bronners. They used to have three stores downtown. One had little tags and things, the large one had outside displays and bigger items, and the third one had just Christmas balls. There were so many to choose from. Back then, in the 70s, this was a new thing and quite a treat. Now Bronners has a huge store as you come into town. You see signs for it all along 75 North. Just get off at the Birch Run Exit, turn right and there you are.

If you turn left at Birch Run, you can go to a huge outlet mall where good stores have great prices.

There is so much to see, you may want to stay overnight and taste all there is to enjoy. Shop the mall and the Christmas store, eat a good dinner, or just look around. You are sure to find pleasant things all along the way. Just one warning, it gets very crowded near Christmas so be prepared. It's lots of fun at this time. Next year, you may want to make a return trip in early fall. Have fun.