Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Human Hope versus God's Hope

i felt a strong urging to post this devotional....how many of us have HUMAN hope and by-pass God's only true HOPE......the difference is, the circumstances can stay the same when we place our Hope in God.......and we can still "soar"......if we have human hope and circumstances do not change......our hope is dashed into pieces and we wither....which do you have?
December 31, 2008

The Night I Lost All Hope
By Elaine Bonds,
She Speaks Graduate

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

Devotion:
I remember it so well -- the night I lost all hope. I had been hoping that my prodigal son was not lying to me. While I was 99% sure he was, I still clung to the 1% chance he was telling the truth. My heart simply refused to give up that final thread of hope.
As a condition of living in our home again, we asked that our 21-year old son attend a weekly support group meeting. We wanted him back home; his other living choice was not a good one. But we needed to establish boundaries, offering a safe place to live without tolerating or enabling his destructive behavior. We wanted to start rebuilding the trust we had lost. One building block was his Friday night support group meeting. Though our son said he was attending, in my heart I felt something was wrong.

One night I just had to know if he was living up to his commitment. I drove to the place where his meeting was held and my fears were confirmed: he was nowhere to be found. I went right home and waited. When he came home I asked about his meeting. "The meeting was fine. I'm tired and going to bed." I had caught him in a lie!

Hope left me and discouragement came quickly to replace it. I couldn't even confront him -- at least not yet. I needed time to wrestle with the loss of the 1% of hope. It was just a tiny bit of hope. No big loss, right? ... Wrong! That last 1% of hope is what I held onto the tightest. I was so angry and crushed. But then, God spoke. He chose a friend to speak His Words to me the very next day. She had no clue what was happening with our son. She just prayed what God prompted her -- for me to have HOPE! She emailed me her prayer:

"Father, You are the God of all hope. Your Word tells us that those who hope in You will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, and they will walk and not be faint. I pray this for Elaine this morning ... that she will place her HOPE in You and You alone ..."

Reading her prayer, it suddenly became clear to me. My hope had been in my son and in that weekly meeting. The hope I had lost -- that 1% I'd been clinging to -- was human hope. That kind of hope is in limited quantity, and when it runs out, you are left drained, discouraged, disappointed and ...hopeless! Oh, it may masquerade as "hope," but it is completely different from the hope that God provides. God's hope renews and refreshes. It empowers, uplifts, and strengthens. God's hope does not disappoint! There is an unlimited supply of God's hope.

God knew I had been clinging to human hope, and He knew that last 1% of weak, feeble hope would run out. He wanted me to cling to Him, the God of true, lasting, unlimited hope. So, as I wiped my tears, I waited as the winds of God's hope blew my way. My circumstances were still the same, but my heart was now filled with the hope that only God can provide.

Dear Lord, Thank You for Your wonderful, everlasting hope. Please help me always put my hope in You and You alone. Thank You that with You all things are possible. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hope


you MUST watch the adjacent video of Hopie on Christmas morning....watch HER , specifically! it is so precious.........for those of you who do not know the "background" story on this......Hope is 7 yrs. old...my grandaughter...in case you haven't gathered that by now......she is the First grandchild in fact.......she was born with mild cerebral palsy.....therefore has had an awful lot of obstacles to overcome in her young life........she is doing sooo very well and brightens absolutely EVERYONE'S life!.......well...........she has been asking, begging, pleading (get the pic?) for a REAL live puppy for a very very long time........and as most of you know........ a DOG takes a REAL commitment and one must be very prepared for the ownership of a dog!.......so my son, Peter and my daughter-in-love, Hollie.......have really had to "get ready" for this decision......but Hope has NEVER given up!!!.........she has received many "substitue', albeit FAKE puppies for many bday and other occasions........and oh yes! she loves them too!!!.......but her desire for a REAL puppy had never been fulfilled til THIS CHRISTMAS!........so as you watch her on the video.....watch her reaction.......of course it makes me cry!.........this puppy will be her lifelong PAL!.......and where she goes, he goes!......so, yup, you guessed it.....next week when she comes for an overnite...guess who will be with her???...........and i absolutely CANNOT wait!!!!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

meet Buster Jolly

i introduce you to my new grandog...Buster Jolly!!! he is so darling , i cannot TELL you!!!.....Hopie has waited so long to have a real live puppy of her own.......and she got one for Christmas!!! ...he has stolen all of our hearts........is he not precious? he is a golden doodle....our family dog of long ago was a golden retriever, named Mollie.....we loved her like a family member...she died several years ago of heart disease.......i still think of her all the time and miss her......so it is great to have another Mollie type dog in the fam......
i am anxious to get back to blog world......i trust all you bloggetts and bloggies had a wonderful Christmas!!!
i am also looking forward to getting my next giveaway done and posted!!!








Week of December 26
The Arrival
by Max Lucado
God had entered the world as a baby.
Yet, were someone to chance upon the sheep stable on the outskirts of Bethlehem that morning, what a peculiar scene they would behold.
The stable stinks like all stables do. The stench of urine, dung, and sheep reeks pungently in the air. The ground is hard, the hay scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and a mouse scurries across the dirt floor.
A more lowly place of birth could not exist.
Off to one side sit a group of shepherds. They sit silently on the floor; perhaps perplexed, perhaps in awe, no doubt in amazement. Their night watch had been interrupted by an explosion of light from heaven and a symphony of angels. God goes to those who have time to hear him--so on this cloudless night he went to simple shepherds.
Near the young mother sits the weary father. If anyone is dozing, he is. He can't remember the last time he sat down. And now that the excitement has subsided a bit, now that Mary and the baby are comfortable, he leans against the wall of the stable and feels his eyes grow heavy. He still hasn't figured it all out. The mystery of the event puzzles him. But he hasn't the energy to wrestle with the questions. What's important is that the baby is fine and that Mary is safe. As sleep comes he remembers the name the angel told him to use ... Jesus. "We will call him Jesus."
Wide awake is Mary. My, how young she looks! Her head rests on the soft leather of Joseph's saddle. The pain has been eclipsed by wonder. She looks into the face of the baby. Her son. Her Lord. His Majesty. At this point in history, the human being who best understands who God is and what he is doing is a teenage girl in a smelly stable. She can't take her eyes off him. Somehow Mary knows she is holding God. So this is he. She remembers the words of the angel. "His kingdom will never end." (Luke 1:33)
He looks like anything but a king. His face is prunish and red. His cry, though strong and healthy, is still the helpless and piercing cry of a baby. And he is absolutely dependent upon Mary for his well-being.
Majesty in the midst of the mundane. Holiness in the filth of sheep manure and sweat. Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable, through the womb of a teenager and in the presence of a carpenter.
She touches the face of the infant-God. How long was your journey!
This baby had overlooked the universe. These rags keeping him warm were the robes of eternity. His golden throne room had been abandoned in favor of a dirty sheep pen. And worshiping angels had been replaced with kind but bewildered shepherds.
Meanwhile, the city hums. The merchants are unaware that God has visited their planet. The innkeeper would never believe that he had just sent God into the cold. And the people would scoff at anyone who told them the Messiah lay in the arms of a teenager on the outskirts of their village. They were all too busy to consider the possibility.
Those who missed His Majesty's arrival that night missed it not because of evil acts or malice; no, they missed it because they simply weren't looking.
Little has changed in the last two thousand years, has it?From God Came Near© (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006) Max Lucado

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Jesus












Will They Know What it Cost?
Glynnis Whitwer

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23 (NIV)

Devotion:
My daughter Cathrine went on a field trip to the Grand Canyon last year with her fourth grade class. As I picked her up upon her return, she couldn't wait to show me an adorable little stuffed brown bear. She started to say that it was for everyone, and then her words got jumbled up as she tried to explain how she ran out of money when she was trying to buy gifts. I could see she was distressed but wasn't sure why.

To understand the rest of the story, it might help to know that Cathrine was born in Africa and experienced deprivation of every sort for the first 11 years of her life. Although she has made remarkable gains, she struggles with communication and math - especially money.
After we got home that night, I understood what Cathrine was trying to tell me about the bear. She had originally taken $20 of her own money to buy a souvenir of some kind. Before buying herself something, however, she wanted to buy some small gifts. So she started with two of her teachers and bought them each a small ring with the first initial of their last names. I looked at the price on the rings and saw each was $3.99. Times that by two, add tax, and Cathrine would have been left with $11 for other gifts and herself.I imagine she stood at the gift store counter bewildered by what she had just done. She probably was embarrassed to ask any of her classmates for help. And maybe the teacher wasn't around. There she stood with just over half of her money left, and three brothers and a sister left to buy for. She decided to get a group gift, and that's where the bear came in.Standing in our kitchen, looking at the three items she purchased, I smiled brightly and told her how everyone was going to love their gifts, and what wonderful purchases she made. She smiled back and the night ended well.The next morning as she wrapped up the little rings, I kept thinking about those two teachers who were going to receive a gift. All they would see is a little silver ring. They are wonderful women and I knew they would be very loving and appreciative. But would they truly understand the sacrifice Cathrine made?Would they understand that their gifts cost Cathrine half of what she had? Will they understand the frustration and worry it caused Cathrine as she realized she didn't have enough to buy her family gifts? Would they treasure those little rings, or would they put them in a drawer with gifts from other students throughout the year?As I pondered these thoughts, I considered a gift I was given 2000 years ago as God sent His son into the world as a baby, knowing Jesus would die on a cross for me. Do I truly understand the sacrifice of that gift? Do I understand the anguish God the Father must have felt? Do I treasure this gift, or do I take it for granted?Christmas is a time for celebration. It is also a time to remember God's sacrifice. For it is in understanding the cost, that we fully appreciate the gift.

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You this Christmas season for the gift of Your son, Jesus. Help me to fully grasp what this gift must have cost You. As I give and receive gifts this month, help me to remember that the relationship I enjoy with You, and the eternal life I look forward to, came at a great cost. For that I am truly thankful. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Treasures


Luke 2:25-35 (New International Version)
25Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss[
a] your servant in peace. 30For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 32a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel."
33The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."


what an interesting Scripture passage......one i have overlooked....in fact....i could not have pointed it out before this day....oh sure i have heard of Simeon before......but, get this....Simeon, who was very Godly, and under the control of the Holy Spirit...was compelled to go to the temple......he had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would see the Messiah before he died.....now here is what i find a glorious thing......he went to the temple to see Jesus and told the child , JESUS.....that HE could now dismiss him (Simeon) to death..and in peace, as he had fulfilled his mission...and even more astounding is the fact that he had taken Jesus into his arms and was HOLDING JESUS!!!.....imagine it!.....WOW
.....now how would a normal child handle an adult telling him something like that? (not to mention, while being held in the arms of this man!)......well obviously, Jesus knew exactly what was being said and why Simeon was there.......in fact HE "knew" all along.......and would have been anticipating Simeon's visit! it is hard to comprehend, isn't it??? the whole scene is hard to comprehend!! yet it is so marvelous and glorious!!! it is so heart warming but so curiously hard to understand, and yet so sweet and simple.......an old man is holding the GOD-child.....knowing that he now can die and go to be WITH God.....while he is holding the God child....oh my.....too much for my feeble mind!

and still another very interesting, albeit sobering issue is discussed in these few, short verses,....the sobering fact that Jesus REALLY came to DIE....Simeon told Mary that Jesus would cause the RISE and Fall of many in Israel..(very very HEAVY information, don't you think?)......and he said something else....."the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed".......then he told her that her heart will be peirced..(talk about heavy...would you be ready for that one?)!...what do you think that means??? i am asking you......because i am not sure.......i think it means when Jesus is hung on the cross, she will see her son dying......how about some comments on this???...i copied and pasted the following devotional words from Our Daily Bread a few days ago.......i think perhaps Mary had a few "hints" of what her child had come to accomplish....i am sure she kept her ponderings in her heart......as the Wise Men delivered the following gifts to the Baby Jesus in the few years past....
Gold has always been a symbol of royalty. This gift signaled the wise men's understanding of who this child was, and how we should receive Him. Because of this child, we are transformed from lowly paupers to royalty seated with Christ (Ephesians 2:6). He had to leave the perfection and grandeur of heaven in order to walk among us, trading His royalty for a time, but never losing His deity.

Incense was a symbol of His purity. Because He was born sinless and lived a perfect life, Jesus was that perfect lamb, without blemish, offered up for our sins. Incense was used as a fragrant offering to God. But the beauty of the scent couldn't be released without being touched by fire. Jesus' life became a fragrant offering through the flames of affliction. And in His death, we receive His purity.

Myrrh symbolized death, as it was used for embalming in those times. Nothing says "congratulations on the birth of your baby" like a little symbolic death! As these men laid this odd collection of gifts at the feet of this child, a little shiver had to have run down His mother's spine when that last one was placed before Him. Already Lord? She had to be thinking. Do I have to start letting Him go already? But I suspect Mary knew that to accomplish His purposes on earth, Jesus' life had to end. And now as we seek to follow Him, our lives have to end as He asks us to die to self and to take up our cross and follow Him.

and my thinking on the statement about the thoughts of many will be revealed.....i think this could pertain to how outwardly we call Christ our Saviour.....while inwardly HE is not.....at the foot of the cross it will truly be revealed what is in our hearts........what do you think?

what a passage of Scripture!!!!....dig deep friends......there are many treasures for you to discover!!!

i would love some "convo" on this!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

a timely word...

the devotion below is one of my favorites!.....she asks many of the questions i have wondered and i love her view of it! please enjoy!...remember...keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas!
(if you click on the picture below, one of my mixed media paintings,...it should enlarge it so you can read the words to the songs that are "embedded" into the original picture...this is actual hymnal music from a hymnal in the 20's or 30's...
(by the way...can you find the words "Away in the manger"?)
this is a painting i "collaborated" with Ivette on...she has the original...btw.....i would LOVE to do that with YALL too! ;-)

The Beauty of It All
Rachel Olsen
"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." Proverbs 24:3-4 (NIV)

Devotion:
Everywhere I go this month I take in the splendor of Christmas. Twinkling lights. Sparkly ornaments. Decorated cookies. Packages with shiny bows. Warm, spicy gourmand scents, mixed with the smell of fresh evergreen. A warm, crackling fire. Sounds of carols filling the air. Christmas is a feast for the senses!

Beauty pays a visit when we celebrate Christmas. Yet when I think back upon the story of Jesus' birth, there seems little lovely about it. The weariness of travel. No vacancy signs. A dusty manger. No running water. Smell of farm animals. The pain of childbirth. Damp, night air. Hay poking and scratching through makeshift blankets. I wonder then, why do we celebrate the day of Christ's birth with such decoration and adornment?

Then I notice how God marked the birth of His Son those thousands of years ago, and I begin to understand more about the ways we celebrate.
God heralded the arrival of His Son with a divine outdoor concert. According to the gospel writer Luke, shepherds sat on a hillside watching over their sheep that evening, when an angel of God appeared to them, surrounded by bright light. He said, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger" (Luke 2:10-12, NLT). Just as quickly as the first angel appeared, a large group of angels -- a whole choir full -- appeared. Praising God together, they declared, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests" (2:14, NLT). Suddenly our tradition of singing Christmas carols seems fitting.
God also announced the birth of His Son to the entire universe, according to the gospel writer Matthew, with a glorious new star in the sky. Millions of light years away, a massive ball of explosive gas began to blaze that day. Through it, God called wise men from far away lands to find and worship the true king. These wise men brought Him gifts: the spicy scents of frankincense and myrrh, as well as sparkling treasures of gold. Suddenly, the twinkling lights, the smell of fresh-baked gingerbread houses, and the carefully chosen gifts under the tree seem perfectly fitting.

In fact, the sharp contrast between our homes and towns at Christmas time and Jesus' first days on earth makes me realize just how humble Jesus is. It foreshadowed the entire life and ministry of this man who lived quite simply on earth, yet reigns as King of heaven.

I'm certain the most beautiful thing about that night centuries ago was the radiance that surely shined from the newborn cheeks, and twinkled through the precious eyes of that promised child. Yes, Beauty paid a visit that first Christmas, and He remains with us today. How glorious that we have become this king's temple. How splendid that our hearts become His majestic throne -- with no lights, ornaments or holly branches required.

I think I'm beginning to understand the beauty of it all.

Dear Lord, Give me eyes to see and ears to hear all the beauty that You bring into my world. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

BRRRRRRRR

Where do you think these pics are taken??

IOWA!!!.....that's right!!! i found this cool weather site...you can type in the town and state and some, not all, have pictures people have posted from that town!!! and these are from my home town...Forest City, Iowa!!!....can you beleive it???

isn't it gorgeous? i don't even know these people........or at least i don't think i do.....but, how fun! you need to try it! here is the link:
(look in wunder photos and type in your info)
and the last one is for husband....i knew he would love it.........and yes, it is taken in Forest City, Iowa!!!










Tuesday, December 16, 2008

how cute is this??? TRY IT!

how utterly cute is this for Christmas??? please try it and let me know your responses....post pics on your blog and i will visit to see how yours look! i am going to try it.......for Christmas Eve, which is at my house this year with my FAM...the kiddos will love it, i am SURE!
any ideas how to make the scarf?? or other peices??

Blue Bunny® Vanilla Ice Cream Snowman
Ingredients
1 cup flaked coconut or 6 ounces vanilla almond bark, finely chopped
2 cups Blue Bunny® Premium Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
2 chocolate cookie wafers
2 chocolate-covered cherries
Candies for snowman's facial features, arms, etc.

Directions
Place coconut or almond bark on a large plate. Using an ice cream scoop, form four balls of ice cream; roll in coconut or almond bark. Place ice cream balls in freezer for at least 1 hour to set.
Mix confectioners' sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of water to form a smooth paste. Apply to bottom of each chocolate-covered cherry. Press onto center of each chocolate wafer to make the snowmen's hats.
Remove ice cream balls (snowmen) from freezer. Spread a small amount of confectioners' sugar paste on each snowman's head, then press hats onto their heads. Decorate snowmen with candies to form features. Serve immediately or return to freezer for later use.

another great reminder from Joe Stowell..


The Power of a Life Well-Lived
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” Philippians 2:14-15
In the years leading up to the fall of the Iron Curtain in Russia, I remember praying for Russian Christians who were being persecuted for their faith. The political situation in that land seemed grim, and quite honestly I wasn’t really expecting to see God answer our prayers for freedom in that land. But in 1989 the unthinkable happened—the curtain collapsed, ushering in a new era of freedom for the people who had been under the iron fist of that communist government. The world rejoiced at the news, and I was especially thrilled that our fellow believers in that land could now freely express their faith in Christ.
Soon after that happened, three leaders of the Russian church came to visit the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. As president of Moody at the time, I was privileged to give them a tour. While we walked, I asked them what events had led to the cessation of oppression and persecution against the church. They explained that their economy had been failing because alcoholism was rampant. People who didn’t believe in God had no purpose, and absenteeism from work—largely due to alcoholism—was wreaking havoc with the economy. They said that once when Gorbachev, who was then the Prime Minister, met with his cabinet, he asked, “Why is it that we persecute the Christians? They are the ones who are not alcoholics. They show up for work every day and give us a good day’s work. Why is it that we persecute people like this whom we desperately need?”
It’s a great example of the power of a life well-lived. When non-Christians in this “crooked and depraved generation” notice that we are different, it gives us an opportunity to make a difference for Christ. I wonder if the people where you work would agree with Gorbachev’s observation? Or would they say, “Those Christians—they are always the ones who are griping, murmuring, arriving late, and leaving early?” Even in environments where we may feel challenged or unappreciated, we are called to bear witness to the reality of God in our lives by being “pure and blameless.” It’s often true that the more difficult the environment, the more challenging it is to show the uniqueness of God’s character through our actions and attitudes. Yet it is in those dark times that the light of Jesus in us and through us can shine most brightly.
When we maintain the witness of a life well-lived even in the face of hardship, we have the power to make a difference in our home, workplace, and significant relationships.
Live in such a way that your boss will be prompted to say, “I don’t always get it about Christians but one thing is true—our business is a lot better place because they work here!” And then maybe, just maybe, your boss will be open for you to help him “get it” about Christians—all the way to Jesus. Now that would really make a difference!

Monday, December 15, 2008

now i've gone and dun it


i have done the UNTHINKABLE..........i have joined FACEBOOK!.........i am a traitor..........i know it...........but i promise to not forsake my blogging! i promise, i promise, i promise!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

something to REMEMBER!


after the last 2 days of non stop flurry to decorate and make my house presentable.....i have had the nagging thoughts of how "un-important" these temporal pleasures really are......today in Daily Bread brought my thoughts to reality......a good remembrance to keep PRIORITIES in place!


December 10, 2008
Marred
ODB RADIO: Listen Now DOWNLOAD: DownloadREAD: Matthew 1:18-25
She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. —Matthew 1:21
During an all-night festival in Paris, five young people, apparently drunk, broke into the Orsay Museum and left a 4-inch gash in a priceless painting by Claude Monet. Culture Minister Christine Albanel said the painting could be restored, but she was deeply disturbed at the damage done by “a purely criminal act.”
One news headline read: “Monet Masterpiece Marred.” To mar is to injure or damage; to spoil, disfigure, or impair. It’s an apt description of sin’s effect on us. We know well the results of our own choices made in ignorance or defiance of God.
As we approach Christmas, it’s good to remember why Jesus was born. The Son of God did not come to establish a nostalgic, family-oriented, commercially successful holiday. The angel told Joseph: “[Mary] will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).
Christmas began with a present from God to His sin-damaged world: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
The masterpiece of God’s human creation, marred by turning away from Him, can be restored when we give our hearts to Christ. —David McCasland
He came into this world a babe,

This world that He Himself had made;

He came to do the Father’s will,

That ended on dark Calvary’s hill.

—Newstrom
Jesus came to earth to repair our sin-damaged lives.

dun.....i mean DONE

WHEW! what a day! i have kept my nose to the grind and i am done with Christmas decorating 2008!!! (except for the dusting and vacuuming).......what a mess it creates!........of course there are always those few "extra" touches that never seem to be done....or NEW ideas that will inevitably POP into my head........but basically...i am done.........i am so relieved! here are a few pics:

Monday, December 8, 2008

decorating update

okay, i got home from work and had my traditional Monday nite after work meal......TACO JOHNS.........(husband is out of town, working)........and looked at the chaos around me...and almost backed out of my plan..........to decorate the tree TONITE..........JUST the tree.....if i could ONLY get JUST the TREE done TONITE!........but i was oh so tired........Michael's is a ZOO right now...and many customers are very stressed and CRABBY....to say the least.........it just takes everything out of me...to be nice that is....JK!........well, that is true, sometimes........but usually a friendly smile turns them around.......and when it doesn't.......i get outta there! ;-)!..........so i ate my meal...and felt somewhat rejuvenated........so tackled the tree!......here is what husband did:



pathetic, huh?.......i asked him to pleeeeeeze put it together and "fluff" it.....i asked, oh so nicely.........but he oh so nicely told me he wasn't so good at "fluffing"..........so this is how i started tonite,
then....i turned on the lights and did a bit of FLUFFING......i actually HATE this tree.....it is a CHEAPO from Walmart......and i really would love to have a REAL tree, as we always used to when the kids were little........until i JUST could NOT take putting on and taking off lights for one more Christmas..........and could NOT take poking my fingers and hands with those horrid needles when taking the tree down.........so i have resorted to FAKE........i feel like a real deserter for forsaking the beautiful, wonderful REAL trees.........but fake is easier, i just wish i had a fake that really looked REAL...........anyway......

still....oh so pathetic.....i mean, REALLY........so following is the progression of the ugly tree!

well, not so bad after all.........it is so covered you wouldn't be able to tell if it is cheap or expensive, real or fake......well, then again....maybe you CAN....nevertheless...at the end of a LONG evening...i am now a much happier camper, to have my tree DONE........now, on to tomorrow....for the REST of the story........i might be done by tomorrow night after all!!!

the FOLLOWING is a little

VINTAGE EYE CANDY for you!

these are bowls i brought home from PA!...aren't they delectable??? bring back any memories?? the mixing bowls were still in the original box and appear to have never been used(don't you just LOVE the way they "nest" together......and don't you LOVE the colors???)..........after Christmas, i MUST find a setting for these in my kitchen! ;-)