Dec 31, 2009

My True Love Gave to Me...Day 6

Saturday I started  the 12 Days of Christmas post series based on a book called The Real 12 Days of Christmas by Helen Haidle. You can read the introduction about it and the first 5 days here.


 "On the sixth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me...six geese a laying..."

Throughout history and in many cultures, eggs symbolize new life.

Even in the practice of the Passover Seder that the Jewish people still observe today, we can see an example of how the egg symbolizes life. One of the objects of remembrance that is placed on the Seder plate is a roasted hard-boiled egg. As a representation of life, the roasted egg is signifying the life of the lamb that, at one time, needed to be slain to wash them of their sin.

Here's what one website,, said about the egg on the Seder plate:

"A roasted egg is on the seder plate to bring to mind the roasted daily temple sacrifice that no longer can be offered because the temple no longer stands. In the very midst of the Passover Seder, the Jewish people are reminded that they have no sacrifice to make them righteous before God."

This is the reason that Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John in the New Testament was given the Name "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world". He made that sacrifice once-and-for-all, and it need never be repeated. It only needs to be applied to the heart of one who will believe. (see John 1:12; and John 3:15-18, just to start).

Now that we have established that an egg symbolizes new life, let's get back to those six geese laying so many of them. What could they represent as a gift from the Father (my True Love) to His children?

Most people (who don't resign to just believe that the song is nothing more than nonsense) say that the six geese a laying represents the six days of God's work of creation. With each of those days, God produced a different source of life, which, like the egg-laying geese, continues to produce more life.

We serve such a masterfully creative God.

This has been an interesting study to do. I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am!
See you in 2010!

Dec 30, 2009

My True Love Gave to Me...Day 5

Saturday I started  the 12 Days of Christmas post series based on a book called The Real 12 Days of Christmas by Helen Haidle. You can read the introduction about it and the first 4 days here.


"On the fifth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me...five gold rings..."

Up until now, most of the gifts of Christmas have had more than one interpretation. From here on, I didn't see much discrepancy on what the gifts could represent; everyone seems to agree for the most part.

All through ancient history, gold rings were meant to indicate lifelong commitment, security in relationship, and in some cultures, even ownership. It's the reason that the traditional wedding band, even today, is a gold band.

In "The 12 Days of Christmas" song, it is said that the five rings represent the first five books of Old Testament (or the Torah), known as the Pentateuch, which means "five books". These first five books were written by Moses, and in a nutshell, they lay out the original Covenant God made with His people.

This Covenant that God made with them was actually a Marriage Covenant. Watch this:

"For your Maker is your husband,
The LORD of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth. "   Isaiah 54:5

Since the nation of Israel is said in the Scriptures to be the wife of Jehovah God, it makes sense that the Pentateuch would be represented by gold rings, the symbol of lifelong marital commitment, one for each book.

One may say, "But I'm not an ancient Hebrew...or Jewish." To that I would say don't forget that the New Testament Church is the Bride of Christ! Yet He still began with the nation of Israel, the apple of His eye, who would bring forth His Messiah...our Bridegroom!

Have you ever been to a Jewish wedding? Unfortunately I haven't, but I found a very informative website about Judaism written by an orthodox Jewish man. He does not write from a Messianic standpoint, as he is not a Messianic Jew (meaning he doesn't believe Jesus is the Messiah), but he has done much research on Judaism and seems to know what he's talking about. Here's one thing he said about the ceremony between man and his wife:

"The man then places the ring on woman's finger and says 'Be sanctified (mekudeshet) to me with this ring in accordance with the law of Moses and Israel.'"

So the five gold rings given by my True Love (God) represent the first five books of our Old Testament, the Pentateuch, in which the Law of Moses and the Covenant between God and His wife, the nation of Israel, was recorded and made known. Furthermore, the ring is a symbol of the commitment of the wife to her Husband and the Husband to His wife through the sanctification of the wife. Amazing.

I just can't think of anything more perfect than gold rings to be the picture of symbolism here.

I don't think I'll ever sing this song the same again.

Random Dozen...Grand Finale of 2009

1. Do you find it gross to share drinks with family? Friends?

I wouldn't say "gross," but I generally don't share drinks. I don't mind if a good friend or one of my own family takes a sip from my drink, though. That's no biggie.

2. What have you learned this year? (You didn't see a question of that weight coming, did you? At least not for #2.)

By far, the biggest lesson I've learned is that no matter how I "feel", God is never as far away as I sometimes think He is.

3. When do you dismantle the Christmas decorations?

We usually wait until after the New Year holiday is over, like the first weekend in January.

But I can't let this question go without telling you this: When I was single and had my own apartment for my very first Christmas, I wasn't ready to take down my tree after the New Year. This was the first tree and decorations I had ever bought all by myself, and I was so proud of it! So I left it up a little longer. February rolled around and I was in the big middle of working a lot, a full load of classes at night, and partaking in some sort of social life, so the spring just flew by. Summer came and went and I was hardly ever home. By next fall, I just decided to leave the thing up as it was almost Christmastime! All I had to do was dust the ornaments on my tree and I was ready for the new Christmas season! I finally took it down the following January. Or so.

4. Something you wish to accomplish before the end of 2009 is:

Well I seem to be running out of time on this one. I have 'til like, Friday? I guess I want to get all my laundry done by then. :-) 

Oh, I know. I want to finish reading "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. I've seen half a dozen versions of the movie 2 dozen times, but I've never actually read the book, until now. The book is always better.

5. How do you feel about winter (after Christmas)?

I don't have to deal with all the crazy snow storms that some of y'all do, so I don't mind it so much. I love the cold weather as long as I have a warm bed to crawl into at night. (Not to mention it doesn't get nearly as cold here in North Georgia as it does in other parts of the country.) I really do like to curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee and a book, listening to the wind howling outside. 

The best part about winter, though, is at the very end of it when Spring starts to show itself. 

6. Have you participated in after-Christmas sales?

I looooooove after-Christmas sales! I love to get cards, gift wrap, and decorations for next year at 50-75% off, box them up with all our Christmas stuff, and then get all excited about using it next year. I haven't done any this year though. Yet.

7. Do you have plans for New Year's Eve?

Not anything specific at the moment. We'll probably just stay home with the fam, play some games, eat junky food and drink hot chocolate.

8. Is there anything special awaiting you in January?

It'll be my DH's birthday; he'll be one year away from 40! (I like that better than least for his birthday.) Other than that, a fresh, new start. Again.

9. If your life this year was a movie, what category or genre would it be? (Romance, Comedy, Drama, Thriller, Suspense, Farcical, etc.)

I had to look up Farcical. I'm not ashamed. The crazy lady that writes these is an English major, for crying out loud. 

So I'm going to say a romantic comedy. Yes I know that wasn't technically an option, but my DH has many romantic bones in his body, so we have our moments. But in reality, it's not totally just a romance, because some of the things that go on in our family are just plain laughable. That's the comedy part.

By the way, I play Meg Ryan...Romantic Comedy Queen in my book.

10. How much time per day do you spend blogging? Please do not lie. I will know.

Well that I in-season or out-of-season? I have yet to be continually consistent with this happy hobby. Okay, so in-season, meaning when I'm actually partaking in this creative outlet that I love so much, I probably spend a couple of hours each day. I could (and have) spend waaaaaaay more than that though. But we're looking for an average, right? 

11. Who runs your household?

DH is the leader of our home (Christ is the head, of course). Managerially, he pretty much delegates it to me: cleaning, cooking, laundry, kid-rearing, shopping, bills, etc. But he ultimately makes both the money and the decisions, with my input, of course.

12. Share one hope/dream for 2010.

I am hoping that we can implement the Dave Ramsey tools we've learned this year so we can be FREE! I would love to see us be debt free and working on saving our full emergency fund (4-6 months expenses) by the end of the year. It may be ambitious, but who ever reached their goal without reaching?

Click on the button to the right if you want more info on Ramsey's Financial Peace University. It will change your life.

I hope you have enjoyed this week's Random Dozen. Go getcha a second cup of "huh?" from Lid next door. See y'all over there!

Dec 29, 2009

My True Love Gave to Me...Day 4

Saturday I started  the 12 Days of Christmas post series based on a book called The Real 12 Days of Christmas by Helen Haidle. You can read the introduction about it and Days 1, 2, and 3 here.


"On the fourth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me...four calling birds..."

Apparently, the old English has been changed a bit over the years, because the four calling birds are actually supposed to be colly or collie birds. Collie comes from the same root word as coalier, or coal, which means black.

So collie birds are actually European black thrush birds (better known as plain ol' blackbirds). In my research of these birds, there were two words that kept coming up over and over again: black (of course), and common.

Helen Haidle in her book The Real 12 Days of Christmas, as do most others, associates the four collie birds with the four Gospels, and more specifically the four Gospel writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Just as the blackbirds in the song, these four men were common, ordinary, run-of-the-mill kind of people. There was nothing special about any of special markings or colors particular about them. No super-natural talents that warranted them special treatment or favor. They were ordinary men with an extraordinary Savior, in an extraordinary time, and with an extraordinary mission.

In fact, they were so ordinary, that any one of us could be mistaken for them. Matthew was a tax collector; Mark's previous occupation isn't even mentioned; Luke was a physician; and John was a fisherman. Normal, everyday people doing very normal things. Common as blackbirds.

Yet theirs were the voices that God Almighty, Creator of the Universe, intended to use from the foundation of the world to share the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of the Messiah through the four Gospels. And God's words penned through their hands, calling out to the human race to come to Salvation, is still the embodiment of the Gospel message almost 2,000 years later.

The next time you feel as common and ordinary as an old English blackbird, rest easy. That's the very characteristic that God seems to like to use best.

Common Blackbird

Dec 28, 2009

My True Love Gave to Me...Day 3

Saturday I started  the 12 Days of Christmas post series based on a book called The Real 12 Days of Christmas by Helen Haidle. You can read the introduction about it and Days 1 and 2 here.


"On the third day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me...three French hens..."

Like the two turtledoves, the three french hens have more than one symbolism attached to them. Some view them as the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Others believe it was a reference to faith, hope and charity (love). Fine gifts, indeed.

Still others, including Helen Haidle, refer to the value of the poultry during that time as being something only the rich could afford. As a gift, three french hens would be considered perhaps as valuable as the three gifts mentioned in the Bible that were brought from afar for the new King: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Gold has one main practical and rather obvious use for new parents of a a monetary contribution.

Frankincense comes from root words meaning "true" (frank) and "incense."

It was used for many practical household reasons: strengthen teeth and gums by chewing it; digestion system; topical wounds (it fights infection, it's an antiseptic and has anti-inflammatory properties). The spectrum of its uses is so wide, it is said it can be used for everything from a cold to cancer!

In addition to its many practical uses, it was more importantly used as an incense in the Temple and for burning grain offerings to the Lord (see Ex. 30:34) and (see Lev. 2:1-2, 15). Keeping in mind that the sacrifices made were a tangible way to worship the Lord in obedience, it seems suitable for the King of kings to be given probably the most costly ingredient in this gift to the Lord.

Myrrh has a bitter taste, so its name comes from a Hebrew word meaning "bitter." It has many of the same practical uses as Frankincense, including its presence in the holy anointing oil (see Ex. 30:23). There is one thing in addition that I have found: It was also used by the ancients in their burial preparations.

Could this be a bit of foreshadowing?

I'm not suggesting that the wise men who brought these gifts knew what they were doing, but the God of Heaven and earth certainly knew what was to come. Down to the "nth" degree.

Here's the part that convinced me. In reading up on the Biblical references to myrrh, I found one other reference that says to me this was no coincidence.

In Mark chapter 15, we see Jesus on the dusty road leading Him to the Cross. When we get to verse 23, it says,

"Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it ."

It was customary during that time for wine mixed with myrrh to be offered to one who had been condemned to death by crucifixion as a way to numb the pain.


So the wise men brought gifts that were reflected in both the worship of Him as God and the death and burial of Him as Savior. I'll bet they had no idea of the deep significance in the gifts they bore.

Nor did they understand its intrinsic value.

Join me tomorrow for a look at the 4th Day of Christmas.

Dec 27, 2009

My True Love Gave to Me...Day 2

Yesterday, I started  the 12 Days of Christmas post series based on a book called The Real 12 Days of Christmas by Helen Haidle. You can read the introduction about it and Day 1 here.


"On the second day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me...two turtledoves..."

There have been, interestingly, two different takes on the turtledoves. Many people say that the two turtledoves represent the two Testaments given by God in His Word: the Old Testament and the New Testament. This is certainly an adequate way to think of two gifts that the Father in Heaven has given to His own.

His Word certainly is a prized gift.

But I also like Helen Haidle's interpretation:

"For hundreds of years, Jewish families used turtledoves as offerings to God. The gift of two turtledoves is a reminder of the sacrifice offered for Jesus by Mary and Joseph."

"Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord...and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: 'a pair of doves or two young pigeons.'" Luke 2:22, 24

Turtledoves were considered to be "clean" animals, suitable for sacrificing in the Old Testament (see Lev. 1:14)

It really is just like Him to offer to us the very thing that He wants us to offer back to Him. He gives us abundant life on this earth; we give it back to Him in our obedience. He gives us spiritual gifts with which to answer His call on our life; we give it back in our service to Him and His people. He gives us eternal life spent with Him; we'll give it back in eternal, perfect worship. Everything we have has been a gift from the Father.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17

And everything we have is meant for us to do His bidding. In that way, we have made that sacrifice of the two turtledoves back to Him. What a perfect Savior. He makes the Way, and then gives us what we lack to complete our part of the covenant.

I think I'm gonna love doing this series.

Dec 26, 2009

My True Love Gave to Me...

No, this isn't a post delineating all the wonderful gifts I got for Christmas.

I just finished reading a short book entitled, The Real 12 Days of Christmas by Helen Haidle. I picked it up last Spring, intrigued by the idea of Christian symbolism being pictured by each of the 12 days in the traditional song.

I sat down to write this post with the intention of sharing the history behind this beloved, and potentially widely misunderstood song of heritage. Once I began some research to find more information on the song's origin, I quickly discovered there is much controversy over its chronicle.

Most of us know that very little about our Christian history and tradition goes unchallenged. It is to be expected, since God has an enemy who seeks to thwart all God does and says, that His Truth will be disputed by some who do not believe what God says. The origin and meaning of this old Christmas carol is no different.

Rather trying to explain all the versions, complications, and opinions that are out there on this subject, allow me to give a brief recap of what I learned, and share the conclusion that I have come to.

Many people believe that this song originated in France during the Middle Ages, in the 1500's. During this time in Europe, it had become a crime to be a Catholic, so many purport (including the Catholic church) that the song was created as a way for young Catholics to memorize basic tenants of their faith without exposing themselves as Catholics. It is said that there were symbols encoded into the song so that there were two meanings: a surface meaning but with a deeper religious meaning underneath.

As tender as this idea is, there is no evidence (written documentation) anywhere that can confirm this. There have been many who have researched this subject that could produce no physical evidence that this song was specifically written to teach doctrine secretly.

Furthermore, I agree with the logic of some, including the infamous, that the idea that a Catholic would have to secretly code their teaching into the lyrics of this song doesn't make any sense, since those that they were persecuted by believed the very same things that are taught in the symbolism. There would be no reason to hide this teaching from Anglican Christians as it does not reveal a belief system of Catholicism at all.

Therefore, the conclusion that I have come to in my limited research is that this song may or may not have been written as a way to teach doctrine secretly, but certainly could have been used to teach Christian doctrine openly during a Holy Season. So my purpose has changed from sharing a bit of old history to sharing some possibly contemporary ideas of relating this song, "The 12 Days of Christmas," to our Christian faith and heritage.

The only question left unanswered being: How long have people been making these associations?

History does not seem to tell us. But that doesn't mean that we have to maintain that "The 12 Days of Christmas" song is nonsense. It can have meaning to our lives in the form of the following symbolism, if we choose to view it, and share it, this way.

Since the 12 days of Christmas traditionally began (depending on where you lived) on either Christmas Day or the day after Christmas (not 12 days before), I would like to post one lyric with its Christian symbolism each day for the next 12 days. That means you have to come back tomorrow to find out what the two turtledoves represent. :-)

"On the first Day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me...a partridge in a pear tree."

The First Day of Christmas would represent Christmas Day, the day we celebrate as the Christ Child's birth. My True Love is the one True Love of any believer's life, God Himself, the Giver of all good gifts.

The Partridge, as Helen Haidle points out in her book, "...was known as a valiant bird, willing to fight to the death in order to defend its young. This bird's readiness to die for its young made it an ancient Christian symbol of Christ." She then concludes that the tree that the partridge hangs on is a picture of the Cross.

What a beautiful picture. While looking up more information about partridges, I read about a particular study of these birds during which it was observed in an aviary that both parents would protect their young by hiding them under their wings.

Show the wonder of Your great love,
You who save by Your right hand
those who take refuge in You from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
hide me in the shadow of Your wings
from the wicked who assail me,
from my mortal enemies who surround me.
Psalm 17:7-9
I hope you had a peaceful, restful, focused Christmas season. I pray that this next 12 days in this series will help us to perpetuate the season just a little longer. Join me tomorrow for a brief discussion of Day 2.

Additional Source:

Dec 23, 2009

Anti-Spammers, Unite!

Okay, so now I've about had it with the spammers. I didn't realize that's what was going on until I saw it mentioned on a friend's blog that they were having issues with it and were going to have to "turn on the dreaded word verification."

Well now, I've had to turn on the dreaded word verification thing. Sorry, dude.

For several weeks now, someone (or something) has been trying to leave a comment in Japanese on one of my older posts. I just kept rejecting the comment, thinking they would stop eventually. Well no. They haven't. Then I got another one today that was just a bunch of gibberish left by an anonymous person. Seriously, what do they hope to gain from doing that? There was no link to follow, none of their words made any sense, so what's the deal? Are they really that BORED with their own lives?

So now, my blogger buddies, you have to type in a weird non-word in order to leave a comment. I know that slows the process down a bunch, but I hope you understand. Maybe after the most wonderful time of the year has passed, these nincompoops will find something else to do and I can take it off again. But until then...

...verify, please.

And know that I will do the same for you, because no spammer is gonna come between me and my comments.

So there.

Dec 16, 2009

Merry Christmas, Everybody

Things have been a bustle here at the Legacy home. I know they have been for you, too. We're cooking and baking and crafting and decorating and...{sigh}...but believe it or not, it's been a fun and peaceful season. I have refused to let things get me in a tizzy or to make me so busy that I don't recognize the beauty of the season we're in. Nutshell: no stress.

It's been good.

We had company over the Thanksgiving week, which was a blast. That was the first time I've had a houseful over the whole week. Dinner was both beautiful and tasty, and very low stress with the extra help I had in the kitchen.

DH had the lights on the bushes outside before they got here. After they left town, we got our Christmas decorations up, tree included, and the Christmas movies began...starting with "White Christmas." We have been enjoying a family Christmas movie, most of them from the Hallmark channel, almost every night since.

One of our faves has been "The Christmas Choir" shown on Hallmark.

"A workaholic accountant (Jason Gedrick) is inspired to start a choir at a homeless shelter, allowing him to rediscover the "miracle of music" and learning that everyone deserves a second chance." Taken from Hallmark Channel website

My favorite thing about it is that it is based on a true story. I love stories like that. Like most of the original movies from Hallmark, this movie is as moving and irresistible as any I've seen. The next airing I could find is on December 20, so set your calendar...or your Tivo.

Another Hallmark movie we've really enjoyed this year was one called "The Christmas Card."

"Moved by an anonymous Christmas card sent to the front lines of Afghanistan, lonely career militarist Captain Cody Cullen travels to the small town of Nevada City to meet the card's sender, Faith Spelman. Stars Ed Asner, John Newton, and Alice Evans." Hallmark Channel's website

No, I'm not being paid by Hallmark to post this. They don't even know I'm writing this. I just really have enjoyed their shows, and want to share the love, m'kay?

Today is December 16, and I've already finished my Christmas cards, AND I'll be finishing my Christmas gifts and cookies to mail by the end of this week. Please hear my heart here...I'm not bragging; I'm celebrating.

The last two Christmas seasons have been, for me, a complete blur.

It was all about a race against time...being behind on cards, behind on wrapping gifts, behind on making gifts...yada yada yada.

I read a book once entitled "Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas" by Sharon Jaynes. She has created an A to Z plan of ideas to incorporate into our Christmas season to be sure we and our families do not miss the "Reason for the Season." I want to share with you her i
dea for the letter "K". I finally grasped this concept this year, and my Holy-day experience has been completely different for it.

"K" is for kitchen jars. The kitchen jars are to be a reminder of where my focus needs to be. One jar is filled with large, fist-sized rocks, and the other is about three-fourths filled with sand. Here's what Ms. Jaynes says about the jars:

"I've discovered that I can pour all the sand into the rock jar, with the grains filling in nicely around the rocks. However, if I try to wedge the rocks into the jar three-fourths full of sand, the rocks won't fit. As the innkeeper said, 'There is no room.'

"In my life, the large rocks represent the things that God wants me to do: spend time with Him each and support my husband, and nurture and care for my child(ren) with whom God has blessed me.

"The sand represents my to-do list, which is as endless as the sand grains: decorating, baking, running errands, etc. If I begin my day with the rocks, then all the sand will fit into place. But if I start my day with the sand, somehow the rocks never seem to fit in."

I've found the same is true in my life. Big rocks in first. Wanna join me?

Oct 21, 2009

A Better, Closer Look at Psalm 23

If you tried to read my post of a paraphrase of Psalm 23 from our Sunday School teacher, and it was cut off on the sides, first of all I want to apologize. I couldn't figure out what html code it was having a problem with, and I finally figured it out.

Please go here to read it. It will bless you.

A Meme Without a Theme...Random Dozen {neuf}

{Once again, no introductions really needed here.}

1. Candy corn: Your thoughts?

Love it. It's just one of those childhood memories that I can't give up.

2. Briefly, what was the first conversation you ever had with your spouse? (or best friend, if you're not married.) (Or someone significant, like your librarian.)

He asked me what kind of music do I listen to, and I answered, "Contemporary Christian music mainly." To which he replied, "Oh." I'm not sure he really knew what to think of me at that point. But he got pretty used to the idea quick enough!

3. Could you ever become a vegetarian?

Ummmm...I eat meat, but not a lot of it. And I really love sides more than anything else on my plate, so it sounds like I probably could be a vegetarian if I needed to. But even though I'm not an adamantly carnivorous individual, I don't think I could go FOR.EV.ER without eating meat just for fun. Capiche?

4. Have you ever dressed up your pet in a costume?

When I was a kid, I used to dress my cat (who always seemed afraid of me for some reason) in my doll's clothes.

5. Name something about childhood that you miss (like Clark Bars, Teaberry Gum, Malibu Barbie, cracking fake eggs on people's heads with your fist and "It's the Great Pumpkin" airing only once a year).

Picking tangerines by the shirtful from our neighborhood's "ancient man's" yard and eating them on the back of my best friend's dad's tailgate. We thought we were "getting away with it," but later found out he knew and just let us. Or knew he couldn't catch us running, one of the two. Knowing that he knew relieved the guilt I felt when I was older, so now I can enjoy the memory so much more.

6. Have you ever won a trophy? If not, what do you deserve a trophy for?

I once won a trophy for a hula-hoop contest! {sigh...those were the days...}

7. When do you think is the appropriate time to begin playing Christmas music each year?


I'm serious! We always have "Christmas in July" at our house...complete with smoked turkey breast, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, homemade rolls and pecan pie. Oh, and we bring a quart of egg nog (sans the rum) out of the freezer for the occasion too.

8. What's your favorite board game?

Right now I would have to say it's Blokus. It's a strategy game, a lot of fun, and I win a lot. 'Nuff said.

9. How do you feel about surprises (receiving, not giving)?

I LOOOOOOVE surprises!!

10. Is it easy for you to say, "I'm sorry?"

Generally, it is. Especially once I've been gently enlightened to the error of my ways.

11. What is your favorite candle scent?

Oooo, this is a tough one. I'll have to say any kind of baking smell candle in the fall and winter, and clean linen scent in the summer. Sorry, I couldn't narrow it down any more than that!

12. October is traditionally "open house" time in public schools. If you had a literal open house in your home (like a reception) what light snacks would you serve visitors and what would you show them (as in art projects, graded papers) that would uniquely represent you?

Well, let's see. For light snacks, I'd have Meatballs in BBQ sauce, Stuffed Mushrooms Florentine, and miniature butter biscuits with jalapeno jelly. Then at the dessert table would be Fresh Apple Cake, Pumpkin Dip with ginger cookies, and Espresso Delights cookies.

As far as displays, I would have to say the food table would be my presentation! JUST kidding. I could show my monumental stack of books I have started but not finished, my folded up fabric that at some point might become my Christmas gifts, and for the Grand Finale, I would feature........untold stacks of folded ready-to-pack summer boys' graded papers! That's about the one thing I've actually accomplished lately.

I hope you enjoyed this week's version of Random Dozen! Now go to Linda's 2nd Cup of Coffee to read others' responses to the same questions.

Oct 20, 2009

Fall Into Flavor...Yay!

Oh Halleluiah! Lidna's doing Fall into Flavor again this year! I can always use some fantastic new fall recipes to add to my repertoire! She'll be doing this meme for the next five weeks (every Monday after today), so jump on in!

Here's my contribution to the 10 pound weight gain of the season:


2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup oil
1 cup pecans
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix first 6 ingredients, and take out 3/4 cup of mixture for topping. Add nuts and cinnamon to topping. Add buttermilk, soda, and egg to flour mixture. Pour into baking pan (9 x 13). Add topping. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. When slightly cool, mix powdered sugar and milk with a whisk until smooth and drizzle over top.

I make this for Christmas morning along with sausage balls and pigs in a blanket, but I tend to get lots of "practice" making it all fall long. {wink}

I also had these contributions last year if you'd like to read them, too. Those are really my favorite fall recipes, but since I already posted them I thought it would be cheesy to do them again.

Then go check out Lidna's other friends who contributed to this dietary bust! Happy fall, y'all!

Oct 14, 2009

Meme Without A Theme--Randome Dozen [Sei]

{I'm not sure these Random Dozens need an introduction anymore.}

1. I've always wondered why we were taught both printing and cursive. Do you prefer to print or write cursive? (Keyboard is not a choice.)

I'll bet you'll get this answer a lot, Lid. I combine printing and cursive most of the time. And how much I combine them tends to depend on my mood and/or my level of stress.

2. Are you a dreamer or a realist?

I am definitely the realist. DH is the dreamer in our house, hands down.

3. Billy Joel or Elton John?

Billy Joel I think. Elton John kinda freaks me out a little.

4. What is the scariest movie you've ever seen? Not limited to horror flicks but also includes ones where the tension or suspense is killer, for example, Flightplan (2005): A bereaved woman and her daughter are flying home from Berlin to America. At 30,000 feet the child vanishes and nobody admits she was ever on that plan.

Hmmmm...I never saw Flightplan. Sounds pretty interesting. It's funny because I don't watch scary movies anymore. I just can't fill my head with that kind of stuff. But when I was a teenager, I used to love to watch them. So my point is, I've seen a bunch of them, but they were YEARS ago.

SO, I am gonna go the one I've seen in recent years. It's called "The Others" (2001) with Nicole Kidman. The

5. Now what is the scariest real-life moment you've had?

When Mini me was 2 years old, I was very large pregnant with Brown Eyes and carrying Mini me through a yard. We all fell like a tree in the Avenue of the Giants in the Redwood Forest. Hard. We all hit the grass except Mini me's head, which hit a concrete pad. An hour later, he was throwing up, non-responsive and lethargic. And the hospital was 45 minutes away.

Makes my heart rush just to think about it. You can read a more full account of the miracle God performed in my sweet son on an old post here. But to answer the question for today, that 20-minute ride to the hospital was, I would say, the scariest.

And yes, I made a 45 minute drive in 20 minutes. :-)

6. What word do you misspell without fail?

Definitely. When I do spell it correctly, I am always amazed that the spellchecker didn't underline it with that rude red line.

7. Name something you like to do but are not really talented or good at.

I love to sing, but honestly, I don't have any idea "how" to sing properly. But in heaven, I'm gonna sing like a bird.

8. Do you get your emotional/mental batteries recharged by being around people or by having alone time?

I get more charge by having alone time. I was raised an only child, so I really do enjoy being alone sometimes. For just a while.

9. Have you ever been on TV?

When I was in the second grade, our class was in a commercial for...something. I have no idea what it was! But it was around halloween time, and so we all were dressed up so we could say our one-liner collectively. I was dressed like a clown. But not like a creepy, partially bald, white-faced clown with big feet; I had a funny hat, a silly vest, knickers, mix-matched socks and big plastic red lips.

Well maybe I was a little creepy.

10. Apple or pumpkin pie? (Don't be greedy.)

Oh, this is just cruel. But I think I'm gonna have to go with pumpkin pie. But only if it's homemade. I'm a snob that way, remember? ;-) Really, I'm not a total snob, because if it's store-bought and at someone else's house, I would never think twice about eating and enjoying it.

11. How many magazine subscriptions do you have?


12. What lesson do you have to keep re-learning?

Well, we saved the doozie for the last one this week, eh?

That I really, really, truly, absolutely, positively, beyond question, firmly, DEFINITELY, seriously need to spend some quiet, meaningful time with my God every single, solitary day for the rest of my life! I am hopelessly useless to Him unless I do.

What a great week! Hop on over to Linda's 2nd Cup for a second helping...and a third.....

Oct 13, 2009

My Wonderful Birthday

My birthday was last month, so the fam and I decided to head north for the first time of the autumn season.

And no, I'm not really 25. Brown Eyes made that card for me...would you look at those lips? He asked DH how old I was going to be, and 25 was his response. What a man.


I love going up in the mountains during the fall. When you can catch a day that's not raining, the air is crisp, the aroma is either a musky pine medley or a cinnamon apple cider, depending on whether you're indoor or out. Almost any establishment you enter in the north Georgia mountains will offer some form of apple-something. It's apple season up here, and it's wonderful.

Along the way, we hit a few of my favorite antique stores because my DH both knows me and loves to spoil me. He more than tolerates antique stores; he actually enjoys most of them as long as it actually has antiques in it. Especially antique guns, knives, blacksmith tools, etc.

After a little shopping, wherein I bought myself a 1938 Illustrated World History book...

...we went to Amicalola Falls. Yeah, I figured spell check wouldn't like that. It's pronounced {am-i-ca-lola} with a short i. The word is derived from the Cherokee language, and it means tumbling waters. It is the highest waterfall in the State of Georgia, and it is absolutely beautiful.

There are three places from which to view this cascade: the bottom, from across the middle of it, and from the top. In the middle, the state built a path around the mountain from a parking lot to a bridge that goes across the falls and then continues down in hundreds of steps. We chose to drive because we didn't think the kids could handle the hike up all those stairs, but you can walk from the bottom to the top if you like!

This picture was taken on the bridge that crosses over.

Here's another one of the boys and me. Look at my sweet li'l dumplin' there on the left. Isn't he just the sweetest thing ever? {insert sarcasm here.}

Here's the view from the top of the falls as it goes over the edge. It's just beautiful!

I can't seem to resist taking pictures of pretty flowers.

Here's Lil'bit on the slide. We stopped by the "prayground" while we were there.

Here's my Brown Eyes posing on the side of the trail...what a handsome kid.

This one's kinda funny. Although I don't think I would have wanted to be the one in the truck when it fell off the side of the mountain and was finally caught by the trees!

That's a very old pick up truck, in case you can't make it out.

This is Brown Eyes hanging out in a tree beside the small, quiet creek that feeds that massive waterfall!

After Amicalola Falls, we drove around the mountains hitting more antique stores and a couple of pumpkin patches.

This is the parking lot of one that we stopped at briefly before moving on to our favorite place.

Then we got to Burt's Farm. We love this place! We have sweet memories of coming here during the first couple of months after moving here, seven years ago.

These are pretty...

These are, um, unique?...

But these are my favorite punkins of all...

You can pick a wheel barrow if you need to haul one of those grand-daddy pumpkins!

Here's my oldest, Mini-me...he looks like a young man to me now. Wow.

Brown Eyes by the baby pumpkins. They have every size you can imagine.

When went to the top of the mountain on which Amicalola Falls runs, we stopped by The Lodge, which is a place we love to stop just to go in the lobby and look out the huge glass windows...

This view is even better the more the leaves are changing.

Before we went, the boys shared a quick checkers game by the windows.

What a blessing my family is to me, and how thankful I am that we got to spend my special day together in such a lovely place.

What's your favorite thing to do for your special day?

Oct 10, 2009

Project 365...Hawai'i Post

So last May/early June we had the incredible opportunity to go to Hawai'i to do a job. Technically, the DH got the opportunity to do a job, I got to tag along. But considering it only cost us my plane ticket and my food, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to do something of this magnitude this affordably!

We got to stay at a very nice, rather fancy hotel on Waikiki Beach, which is on the island of Oahu near Honolulu and Pearl Harbor. Much to our dismay, we did not get to make it to Pearl Harbor. We decided that would be the thing that would draw us back next time.

[Sidebar: The hotel resort was very nice, but next time I want an open-air bungalow on a virtually uninhabited beach on Kauai! The locals told me that's where I can find "old Hawai'i." Sounds like the place for me!]

So here are just a few selected pics taken from our trip:

This was taken at one of the Luau's we went to. Good times.

One of my favorite things we made a habit of doing was walking along the beach at night. DH snapped this picture while I was putting my sandals back on after said walk. This was the night of the Luau in the above picture.

It fascinates me that clouds like this seem to hover over the island like this.

Sunset on Waikiki Beach

I've never seen so many different types of beautiful flowers. EV.ERY.WHERE.

Sands of Waikiki

Eyes of complete bliss! This was taken at Ted's Bakery, which is apparently a locally famous spot for eating chocolate haupia (coconut pudding) pies.
Oh. My. Word. Watch the video at the end of the post to see more!

Waikiki at night.
Our hotel is on the left with the rainbow on it.

I think this is some kind of ginger blossom.

Flamingos. At the hotel. Yep.
It was almost like a built in zoo at the hotel: parrots, wrens, flamingos, PENGUINS (?!), ducks, etc.

I'm not sure if this is some kind of Bird of Paradise or not. But it's pretty!

This, of course, is the hibiscus, the State Flower of Hawai'i

I could bore you to TEARS with all the sunset pictures I could've put on here.

These trees were AMAZING. See the colors painted on them? That's their natural bark color! Yellows, reds, oranges, and lime greens striped all the way up these towering trees. Just beautiful.

Dole Plantation

Heaven...I'm in heaven...and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak...come on, sing it with me!

Fields and fields of cocoa plants!
This picture makes me teary eyed.

Pineapple Row
World's BEST pineapples. Hands down.

DH on one of the beaches on the North Shore

See that big dark thing just to the left of me? Can you guess what that is?!

It's a Honu...a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle!
That previous picture was the closest I was allowed to get to her as they are carefully protected animals there. They have volunteers that stay at that beach (a honu feeding and basking area) for 4-hour intervals 24-hours a day.

Surfer on the North Shore.

This is the view from the same beach. Just breathtaking!

Mountains along the central part of the island of Oahu.

Pineapple fields forever....

Learning a hula
at the Polynesian Cultural Center
(which, if you ever get the MUST go there!)

Our tour guide at the Polynesian Cultural Center was from Tahiti, and she taught us how to make these childhood toys from palm leaves. It's a fish!

This was an Aussie named Bobbie (say it with the Australian accent!)
We met for the first time at the bottom of Diamond Head, so we decided to climb it together. She was visiting Hawai'i from Sydney all by herself!

The view looking back on the trail we were climbing to get to the top of the volcano crater.

There were tunnels to go through...

...and 282 VERY steep steps to climb...

...and an equally steep spiral staircase to climb...

This view is about half way up.

This is from the edge of the crater looking over the town behind.

This is inside the filled-in crater and also the place we started. We're not to the top yet!

THIS is from the top! View of Honolulu.

More of the same, but pulling the zoom back a little...

...and this is the actual view with no zoom from my camera. Absolutely no words.

Closer shot of Waikiki Beach from the top of Diamond Head.

Notice the curvature of the earth in the horizon. Wow.

This is an historic lighthouse at the base of the Diamond Head crater.

As promised, here's a little video of Ted's Bakery. You should watch at least the first minute or two if you'd like a good laugh.

Hope you enjoyed a walk through paradise on earth. I know I did. :-) Thanks again to Sara at Make Music from Your Heart to the Lord for hosting this awesome meme. Go check out what others have been up to! Have a great week! Aloha!