Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I goofed..
This picture should have been my last picture in the last post... as I was trying to go in order as everything happened. Because of this, I was not going to rewrite that whole post just to insert one more picture. ANYWAYS, after the Bible study Christmas party... I had at least 2 hours of wrapping Christmas gifts that needed to get done. I've been so busy getting to this point, making sure I had everything I needed and that everyone was pretty even as far as total pricing goes.
Anyways, I did spend about 2 hours wrapping gifts, and then got together all my coworkers gifts to have ready to take in to work, seeing some arent working Christmas day. Here, below is ALL my Christmas gifts that I bought for my family. Mom has always been big in color coordinating gifts either with wrapping paper or gift tags... her system has definitely rubbed off on me=)

Wrapping gets to be very tiring after awhile,
so Im very glad I have just about everything done.
Tonight while eating at the party, we had some discussions about everyone's traditions for Christmas day. What would a Christmas day be for you? Are you a early riser, just to rush down and tear into your gifts... before the day ever really gets started? I say this.. because several at the Bible study seem to run their Christmas as such. I seemed to be the most different...
Do you balance everyones total gift prices- Ex: Spending $15.00 or $100.00 on each person /or amount of gifts- Ex: If a person has 5 gifts, everyone has 5 gifts.. regardless of price.
Again, I say this... because I learned some at the Bible study go by # of gifts, rather than price.
It's all very interesting to say the least...

Here is my traditional Christmas day:
Growing up, it was always a BIG deal not to see whats under the tree before we all can go in together. I mean, if we had to use the restroom during the night... mom or dad had to be woken up to walk down with us as we were either blindfolded or shielded from looking. Once morning came, I mean 9 ish or so... mom and dad would come get us out of bed.. take us to the kitchen to eat breakfast together. All the while... we wished we could move this time along. When breakafast was over with and cleaned up, we got dressed and then all head into the living room to have the Bible reading of the Christmas story and then have prayer. This would be the first time we'd see the gifts that day. While little, even the devotions seemed to drag on and on... then FINALLY.. it was time for gifts. Stockings were always handed out first and opened together. Then, all of the gifts that I bought for the family would be handed out..while I Watched each of them open their gifts. Next, All ange's gifts handed out.. for her to watch open. Finally, Ashley's gifts she had bought for the family were handed out.. From that point on.. the rest were from mom and dad.. and a few snuck in from "Santa" ( as still is the case...) Everyone would be handed 1 gift- Mom and Dad to us/ Mom and Dad to each other.. then, all would open their 1 gift. We would continue as such, for say.. what seemed like 15 to 20 more rounds. Once all was complete, clean up time was at hand... then we usually would get ready to head over to my Grandparents for Christmas dinner.. and another family Christmas in the afternoon/evening.
To this day, or at least as of last year... Ash still doesnt like seeing the gifts until she absolutely has to... she still will turn her face to avoid a peripheral peek. It's cute.

Catch up time...

Yes, I'd say it was about time for another post, seeing Im so quick to point out to others when I feel they need an update also;) So, here it is...
Recently, I had a few consecutive days off & filled my time with some of these wonderful activities. Mind you, last year... it was attempted on 3 different occasions to go skiing and due to wind storms/ ice storms or lack of snow period.. skiing was out of the question! So, this year...skiing became one of the first activities attempted, in hopes of going. YES, first try... the trip was made and down the slopes we went. I'll be the first one to admit, I'm pretty much a beginner when it comes to this sport. In 4th grade we took lessons through school for a period of time, and then I hadn't gone until after high school. Since then, I've been shown the basics-learning how to stop, fish taling down a slope(whatever the actual terminology is, Im not sure) shifting weight, etc. Needless to say, I spent a great deal of time on the bunny hill before building enough courage to take a chairlift to the next level. What makes it even harder for me is the unknown. When you've never been to this mountain before... you wonder, what are the trails exactly like? What am I up against? Where are the drops? How sharp are the curves? Etc. Anyways, it was the perfect day weatherwise for an event as such. Can't say I always stayed on my feet. During ONE of the several times down, I felt like I was on my bottom/or my stomach more than my skis.. I landed in briar like weeds, leaving me feeling helpless for the moment. Another time, I must have flipped off the trail sliding down the bank, before catching myself. Anyways... I walked away without any broken bones, so all went well. They say, in order to get good at something, sometimes you have to fall to learn. That is, unless you call yourself perfect... but we wont go there.
Afterwards... it was dinner time=)
Of all the years Ive lived here in the Albany area... I had never been to the Capital Holiday lights in the park. Sure, Ive driven by... and thought it would have been something different to try, but never had. This year, I was determined to go... in a horse drawn carriage throughout the park. What beautiful sights... of lights.


The next day, winter truly hit here in NY... with 10-15inches of snow. Winter wonderland was seen all around us. Needless to say, that didnt stop one from going Christmas shopping for a bit=)

That evening.... Melodies of Christmas was at Proctor's. It was truly an exciting moment for me.
Festive colors seen all around with people dressed up, Christmas carols sung, etc. What a wonderful production. Being in the medical field, I felt honored to attend. All money raised through buying tickets was going to help Children with blood disorders/cancer at Albany Medical Children's Hospital. After working there for 2 years, it was a joy to know I was in some sort of way helping others through AMC.

When: 12/23/08

Everyone contributed food to share together. There was pizza, chips/dip/salsa, pizza bread, cheesecake, and drinks.



After dinner, we spent some time in God's word and then started wrapping presents.
If you recall in a previous post, I mentioned that our group has a mission to help others in need.
We originally were going to take on a whole family, but those plans fell through. So, this year.... we decided to take in one of my patients I had from work. Without going into great detail of this pt's situation... his once love for high speed motorcycle racing.. has turned into dashed hopes of ever riding again. A paraplegic he has become.. and its been a VERY difficult road these past several months. While he was my patient, we had some very in depth conversations of God. Tears would roll down his cheeks, as he questioned God.. We as a group have carried a burden for him.. and this is why we, as a group have tried reaching out to him this Christmas season.

We bought bath towels, a hand towel, $25.00 Cheesecake Factory GC, $15 FYE GC, bed sheets, and a Microsoft Arc mouse. The towels and bedsheets were some ideas he had mentioned he could use when he gets out of the hospital.
Last but not least, we presented Dan ( our Bible Study leader) a Christmas gift from us all. We bought this for his desk at school. ITs a combination of a digital clock/ calendar on lower left hand side, a picture, which we will insert of our group for uptop, the plaque that was engraved "C.D.C.F. 2008" which is our group name. The flip side, as seen below is a huge calculaor, which we thought would be a nice add on, seeing he is a math teacher.


All in All, we had a nice time...
Christmas is just around the corner now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Appreciate those precious moments that others may take for granted,
for we are blessed!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Decorations and Ice

With Christmas quickly upon us, I had been getting pretty anxious to get in the Christmas spirit with decorations. Christmas isn't all about a tree, lights, other decorations, & gifts, but at the same time, things like this help one to feel festive. Our family hasnt ever been one to put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving. Sometimes, I wonder if the tree would be up long enough to enjoy it, so this year to my suprise, after coming home from work last Monday night, through the picture window there was our new tree for this year. I say "new" because... mom decided after 15 years last year, that it was time for a new tree! There has always been one debate held every year between mom and dad. Colored lights or white lights? Personal preference is white with bows, but hey... there is more than just me here! Mom loves white and dad prefers colored. Well, as you can tell by the tree.... Dad won this year.

Just a few decorations around the house...
Take a close look at the "odd" stocking. =) This is our "little man's"
Funny thing is, come Christmas day, mom takes the stockings down and places them on the couch due to their heaviness. Rumple, is able to find his very own.. and then sits there protencting it.



This past Thursday night, we, along with so many others were hit with a HUGE ice storm. This night , Ange and I were coming home from work late, and pretty much ran into a huge tree that had already managed to fall over across the road. We hadn't seen it until we were litterly right there.
Here's a few shots on our property.


AND then, I was very suprised to see this little bird next to one of our back windows. Can't say I see too many of these right around here!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hold ME While I Cry

Ever come across a song and find yourself playing it 25 times? Well, this was one of those songs for me.... so much that I bought the CD! Thought I would share, just in case this song would be meaningful during your low times.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Twas The Month Before Christmas

I realize the importance that this poem holds, so since getting this in an email tonight, I
thought I would also post it here.
*Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*
*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a 'Holiday'.*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*
*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*
*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!*
*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*
*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*
*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*
*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
not Happy Holiday!*

Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet during the
holidays a

Christ is 'The Reason' for the Christ-mas Season!