Happy Halloween Everyone!

 

Our sweet little niece in her Pooh outfit. Oh how I’d love to kiss those cheeks!!

I really enjoy when little trick or treaters come to my door and I can ooh and aah and give them some candy.

My daughter and a co-worker created this Cinderella Carriage Pumpkin for a No carve pumpkin contest.

 

I really love the creativity of this Pumpkin carriage! Here’s my daughter and her boyfriend with their Halloween Party Costumes.

 

Princess Leia and Hans Solo!

Happy Halloween! Don’t forget to turn your clocks back tonight!!

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.

Making Having Out of Town Guests Easier…

Summer is coming and for some of us that means an increase in overnight guest traffic. When Dear and I moved to Washington away from both of our families we were introduced to holiday visitors. You can stress out if you want or plan to make it less stressful. Learn from our good and bad experiences.

At first we thought we had to be there for every little experience sacrificing our sanity. Then we learned to give our guests some freedom. We also learned to give them some responsibility. If someone was great at making pies, we picked blackberries for them. If someone was celebrating a birthday we made reservations at a restaurant to celebrate. Our guests have helped with car repairs and home improvement projects.

Over the years we have had very mellow go with the flow guests and some more pamper me guests whose eating patterns changed from year to year. (No fat, some fat, no sugar, only Diet Coke, no meat, only chicken, no carbs,  etc. etc.) Here’s what we ended up doing. Before they ever arrived in Washington we asked them to research and decide what they’d really like to experience and what they were comfortable leaving up to us. Then we asked what their favorite breakfast cereal was and their favorite beverages. When they arrived they were shown the notes on the refrigerator.

#1 ~You are welcome to anything in my refrigerator and cupboards. Please check and see if I have the items you need to be happy. If you do not see the things here that will make you happy we will make a trip to the grocery store so you can purchase the items that will make you comfortable during your stay here.

#2 ~ I do not ask you over the course of the day if there is anything you need. You are very welcome to get whatever you need and want at any point during the day without my permission. I and my family will get a snack without asking you if you want one. If you want a snack please know that we want you to treat this like your home. Get up and get that snack you want without asking permission! If there is something you need please feel free to ask and we will hunt it down for you!

#3 ~ You can use the dishwasher, the stove, the oven, the microwave,the washing machine, the shower anytime during the day.

#4 ~ We encourage our company to participate in making at least one meal while they stay with us. While they are making the meal the rest of us will set the table and have fun creating an atmosphere to go with their menu. With my sister-in-law Letty who happens to be Hispanic we really go all out with the Mexican theme while she makes the Mexican rice, beans, salsa and Carnitas for all of us to enjoy!!

This may sound harsh to some of you but you need to know that we do make several meals and drive our company all around town to see the sights and we do enjoy all of these activities. It’s just good to have the comfort of knowing they don’t have to be cared for every minute of the day. That’s why we give them the freedom to get up and get whatever they need whenever they need it without our direction.

Being pro-active in spelling out things and squashing any unreasonable expectations will make it easier on everyone and make you welcome overnight guests over and over again…

We always look forward to out of town guests since we’ve set up guidelines for ourselves and them. There are always those who don’t need any guidelines, those who just fit in with the everyday flow.

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.

Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New

Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New
~Alfred Tennyson 1850

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife,
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweet manners, purer laws.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

I’m chiming in early to wish you all a Very Happy New Year filled with all good things from above! See y’all on Friday!

Eggs and Kulich

Our Easter preparations are on their way.

Katie colors the eggs each year.

 

I decorate the show piece of our food celebration, the Kulich (Russian Easter Bread). I did say decorate. I didn’t say I baked it. That is still on my list to do before I die.

 

We will celebrate all day tomorrow with friends, family, food, hallelujahs and hosannas to our Resurrected King.

Blessings on all your preparations and celebrations…

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage. I’m working on updating my blog posts very slowly.

Legend of the Dogwood ~ Easter

 

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The Legend of the Dogwood

There is a legend, that at the time of the Crucifixion the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber of the cross. To be used thus for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and Jesus, nailed upon it, sensed this, and in His gentle pity for all sorrow and suffering said to it: “Because of your regret and pity for My suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross. ..two long and two short petals. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember.”

I recognize that this is just a legend but I wanted to post this entry because I’ve always loved the Dogwood blooms. If I look at them and think about what my Savior did for me that’s a good thing. He created the tree, the beautiful bloom, and you and me to enjoy it! Praising God this Easter season for His sacrifice on behalf of us.

Here are some interesting facts about the dates that Easter falls on;

Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox. This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman Calendar.

Here’s the very full moon from last night 3-21-08 that caused Easter to be so early this year!

This year is the earliest Easter any of us will see for the rest of our lives! The next time Easter will be this early is in the year 2228 (220 years from now).

The earliest calendar date on which Easter can fall is March 22nd and the latest date it can fall is April 25th.

Next year in 2009 Easter will be on April 12th!

Happy Easter Everyone…

Sky Watch ~ Good Friday

 

Luke 23: 44-46 ~ “It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” Having said thus, He breathed His last.”

For more Sky Watch photos visit Tom at  Wiggers World.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage. I’m working on updating my blog posts very slowly.

Poetry of the Cross

Over at Rebecca Writes there are links to posts with the theme of the Poetry of the Cross. This is something I found that I’ll contribute during this Holy Week.

I found this old book on our bookcase that Dear’s parents owned. It is called The Gospel in Art by Albert Edward Bailey copyright 1916.

I’m sharing this portion from the section RENI: “ECCE HOMO” John 19:1-5

 

Reni, Guido (1575-1642) Original: in the National Gallery, London.

“There is no denying that the thought of Christ’s suffering has been a powerful stimulus to the religious life of the past. Latin Christianity is full of it, and even Greek Christianity found inspiration in it. Hymns to the suffering Savior have sounded from many a monastery cell and have echoed sweetly down even to our own time. Take for example the wonderful hymn of Bernard, redolent of the midnight vigil and of modes of thought characteristic of his age, but of such beauty that every country and every Christian sect claims a share of it.

“O Sacred Head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down;
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorn, thine only crown.
O Sacred Head, what glory,
What bliss till now was thine!
Yet though despised and gory
I joy to call thee mine.”

This hymn is one section of a long poem beginning “Salve mundi salutare,” addressed to the different members of Christ, “a most devout prayer of the Abbot St. Bernard, which he made when an image of the Savior with outstretched arms embraced him from the cross.” There is a still earlier hymn by Theoctistus of the Studium, Constantinople, less widely known but scarcely less beautiful in Neale’s translation. It is found in some of our hymnals under the first line, “Jesus, name all names above.” This hymn evidently arose under the same need as Bernard’s, and serves to show how all the harrowing details of suffering may be blended in thought with one’s highest spiritual good.

“Jesus, crowned with thorns for me,
Scourged for my transgression,
Witnessing in agony
That thy good confession.
Jesus clad in purple raiment,
For my evil making payment:
Let not all thy woe and pain,
Let not Calvary be in vain.”

When we visited the National Gallery we started in the religious art section with painting after painting of Christ on the cross. After a while I was eager to head to another part of the gallery. When I think of Jesus I do not typically picture Him on the cross at Calvary. I’m always eager to get from Good Friday (which my nephew thinks should not be called “good”) to Resurrection Sunday. I love to picture the Risen Christ, triumphant and victorious, after all that pain and agony. He Lives! Thanks be to God!

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage. I’m working on updating my blog posts very slowly.

WFW ~ Hebrews 12: 1-2

 

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

For more Word Filled Wednesday click here.

Table is Set for Corned Beef and Cabbage!

 

My kids are coming over for dinner, corned beef and cabbage. I’ll be making some fun green drinks and we’ll eat and celebrate being together and surrounded by green. I’ll post the people photos later! 🙂

 

I tweaked the table some more before my guests arrived.

 

My beautiful children, with one missing and Dear is in California till Friday, so dinner for four.

The meal was enjoyed by all…
Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage. I’m working on updating my blog posts very slowly.