Saturday, December 29, 2012

...Buddy Bumpus came for Christmas

I guess it all started with a 'silly old bear'.

Shelby received her first stuffed Pooh Bear for Christmas in 2000.
Maddie got hers in 2002.
We soon started collecting the movies. We're crazy about Disney/Pixar!
When the girls were 4 and 6, we started having family movie nights. We'd cuddle on the couch, eat supper, and watch a movie together.

As the girls got older, we started adding other types of movies and even themes to our family night.

Now, with Joey's busy schedule and the girls starting their teens, we've cut back to one big theme night a month.
We love it! We go all out with a bit of costuming, games and decorations.

This month we couldn't quite make up our minds on one theme, so we decided we'd make December a little special! One theme - based on a favorite holiday movie - every Friday night until Christmas!

(I should mention, we surprised Joey with each theme! He had no idea what was on the menu until he came home from work and we gave him his 'costume' for the night. Too fun!)

We started off with 'A Christmas Story'.

We ate Chinese, of course! (Buddy's Christmas present
played the part of the goose!)
The girls and I performed a couple of songs for Joe.
(I was the pink bunny)

Even Buddy got in on the act!!!

Next, we headed to Whoville to meet
'The Grinch Who Stole Christmas'.

Joe and the girls were decked out in their Grinchy best,

Love the footies!

I wore my Who-bilation Celebration hat!

Eat your heart out Martha May!

We dined on rare Who roast beast (We call it herbed chicken 'round these parts), green/red/yellow veggies, and pink mashed potatoes!
And what Who-bilation Celebration would be complete without the
WHO   who   who  
PUDDING   pudding   pudding  
COOK OFF    cook off    cook off !!!

Joey did quite well!

Our third weekend was a little different.
We bundled up, piled in the car and headed out. We grabbed dinner on the go, and set off to see the Christmas lights around town!
The Broadmoor 

 The Riverwalk

A creatively decked out residence with an
insanely high electric bill!

After the light tour, we went home and watched
'The Santa Claus' with hot cocoa and homemade cookies!

One of our fav Christmas traditions -
baking and decorating sugar cookies!

Love my Santa Claus. . .

Our last Friday was based on one of my all time favorite Christmas movies -
'Scrooge' with Alistair Sim.
We cooked an authentic Dicken's dinner that night. Roast turkey, walnut and marmalade glazed carrots, sage sausage and cranberry dressing, dinner rolls,

Duchess potatoes -

and Lemon Syllabub
for dessert!

Delicious! Then we all settled back to enjoy the movie.

Tiny Tim, Scrooge, and Martha Cratchit!

That wrapped up our theme nights. Of course, with so many great holiday movies how could we choose just four?!
We also watched 'The Nativity', 'It's A Wonderful Life', 'White Christmas'. . .

It was a wonderful December!

When I look back on my childhood Christmases, I honestly don't remember any specific gifts. I remember family.
*I remember lighting the candles around the advent wreath and reading devotions.
*I remember Christmas caroling.
*I remember that every Christmas Eve was sacred. Mom worked outside the home. And dad, being a pastor, was always on call. But Christmas Eve was ours. No interruptions.

Time with family, warm winter memories, traditions old and new...
Those are my favorite ways of remembering the birth of our Lord.

Friday, November 16, 2012

What really matters, I'm just sayin'...

There's a big to-do in our news lately about the ban of panhandling in downtown Colorado Springs.
A large portion of our homeless seem to congregate there.
Some folks don't like their looks.
Some don't like their smell.
Some couldn't care less, they just want to get to work every morning without being harassed every time their car comes to a stop.
I understand the attitude.
I really do.

I've noticed myself becoming more and more cynical over the years . . .

. . . for obvious reasons.

You have those whose appearance and demeanor confirm that they really are in need.
Then there are those who sit at the intersection texting on their cell phones until the light turns red, at which point they pick up their cardboard signs and start their well rehearsed 'brother can you spare a dime' speeches.
Like I said, cynical.

Most of us really do want to help. But how?
That discussion in itself is a minefield.
* "Never give a beggar cash! They'll just use it for drugs or alcohol. Give them a hot meal instead!"
Well, don't know about you, but I don't usually drive around with extra Big Macs in the car, and I'm certainly not going to pick up a stranger.
* "Go ahead, give 'em cash. It's not up to you what they do with it, it's just up to you to be generous."
Trust me, I want to help! But guys like the one in the pic above aren't getting a dime of my money!
* "Don't give them anything! They can go to a shelter or a church if they really want help." 
That just sounds like Pilot washing his hands to me.

Joey and I have been approached at stop lights, shopping centers, restaurants, gas stations, and several times in the parking lot at church.
We always try to help.

Yes, we've given money.
Yes, we've given food.
Yes, we've directed the person in need to our pastors, deacons, or anyone else we thought might help.

I don't know if there is a definite right and wrong for these situations.
What I do know is that, above all, we should show Jesus to those in need.

Not long ago, we were filling up at the gas station.
As the girls and I waited in the car, a young woman approached Joey.
I couldn't hear the conversation, but I knew what she wanted.
Without hesitation, Joey walked over to her car, paid for, and pumped her gas.

The girls watched intently.
"Mom, who is that?"
"I don't know."
"Does dad know her?"
"No, he doesn't."
"Is he buying her gas?"
"Yes he is."
"Because daddy wants to be like Jesus."


"Wow. That's really cool."

I saw her children in the back seat.
I saw her talking on her cell.
I saw her husband sitting in their warm toasty car texting away while my husband stood out in the frigid air and bought their gas!

My girls saw their daddy being Jesus to a stranger.

Lord forgive me for the times my heart is hardened. Help me to always be a reflection of your love.

That's what really matters.

I'm just sayin'. . .

Thursday, November 8, 2012

From 'Spring Forward' to 'Fall Back'

May through October was a blur this year.
Those "Lazy Days of Summer" are a thing of the past.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I'm a bit word poor right now, but I've got pictures to spare!
(Feel free to start your own montage music now...)

Early spring was warming,
but the girls wore their hats as long as they could.

We finished up Awana with the Grand Prix!

So proud!

They deserved a treat after all that work!

New glasses - 
for both girls.
I'm a mean mommy. We do summer school around here!
Joey took the girls to the Pueblo dwellings for one of their
Daddy day's out.
Loved our trip to the Denver museum.

This was the girls' favorite part!

Poppy made a new friend at the zoo,

and Shelby loved the wolf preserve.

Our brave girl waiting to have a cyst
removed from her wrist.
There was definite swooning involved,
but she made a quick recovery!
Little Maddie sunshine was a great help
to her sis.
Poppy loved Garden of The Gods.
Joey in the Denver Memorial Day Parade.
The girls said he was cooler than Batman!
Echo Lake half way up Mt. Evans - 

the highest paved road in North America.

Ready for the Derby - bring on the mint julep!
Old Colorado City farmer's market - 
and Whole Foods. Two of our favs!
Nothing like homemade pesto made with
hand picked basil!

Why, oh why, does he roll in the dirt.

Crossing the Continental Divide.
Water fall in the San Juan National Forest.
Durango hotel overlooking the Animas River.
Can we trash a hotel room or what?!
The Painted Desert.

Our fearless trekers.
Easter Sunrise Service at the Grand Canyon.
Working our way around the South Rim.

We had a little surprise on our front porch
when we got home!

Took Grandma and Poppy to Focus on The Family,
and Cripple Creek.

Cripple Creek Heritage Center.
Crossing the Divide on the way to Leadville, CO.

Leadville was absolutely worth the drive!
Testing the headwaters of the Arkansas River.

Add caption
One of the girls' favorite stores.
Visitor's Center at Mueller's State Park.
We gave the girls mustard seed neclaces this year
for their 'New Birth' days!
This was so fun to watch! Almost 100 balloons,
and they would take turns dropping down
to skim the water before rising again.
Just Crusin'.
Red Rock Canyon.
Mt. Rosa.

Helen Hunt Falls.
Cheyenne Canyon.

Narnia at Focus on the Family.

Every month we have a theme night.
August was Casablanca!
Also this summer; 'Colonial Williamsburg' and
 'Welcome back Football'!
Three Amigos cuddling in my bed while daddy works late.
So glad the girls love to read!
Very moving dedication ceremony
with the NYFD presenting a piece of the
Trade Tower wreckage.
Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band!
Great concert!!!
The girls' last year of VBS. Can't believe it.
Anniversary at Marigold. Unbelievable coffee
and cake!
Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day!
Oh yeah, we were there.
Shelby's cute new 'do' for the symphony...
This year we've heard Mahler, Shostakovich,
Schumann, and Barber. Can't wait for the next!
This Halloween I had a Ninja,
and a mad scientist!
Guess the princess days are over.
Unexpected visitors at 'Trunk-or-Treat'!
Why call it a 'slumber' party if no one sleeps?!
Hope to see more of these . . .
And much less of these.

We've had a wonderful summer. Can't wait to see what the holidays will bring!