Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Yule Tidings

Christmas is over. Too soon. Too sad. We had a great time in Tallahassee with everyone. I didn't take near enough pictures, but will post a few. Beka and Chuck came with Josh, Caleb, and baby Elizabeth. Pete, Julie and Asa were there. Danny. Me and Tony. Joel, Kim, Kendall, Kyler didn't get to come - Joel lives the retailers life - but most of the family was there. For the record, we missed you Joel Hayes family!

We had Christmas from "one to ninty two." Ninty year old Grandma to 4 month old Asa. Mom gave Dad a puppy for Christmas. A blue merle Sheltie. He's beautiful. See picture. We named him Buckeye figuring Dad would go along with that name.

We arrived on Thursday and immediately took Mom to the wood chuck, chuck pile and loaded up with back of Tony's truck with firewood. Rushed home, unloaded (enlisted help of Josh, 11, and Caleb 8.) Rushed back to the wood pile and filled it again with firewood for our at-home fireplace. Man, the truck was loaded down. The man who sold us the wood wanted to know how Tony got his wife to toss wood. He said, "She wants the fire."

I laughed. More than getting his wife to toss wood, Tony got his mother-in-law to toss wood.

The weather was cold. Very cold. That made if feel more Christmasy, but Christmas Eve and day were grey. Tony, Danny and I stayed at Grandma's house, but walked across the street for present opening at Mom and Dad's. The kids were so excited - me, Josh and Caleb. Ha!

Tony got lots of clothes. Needed items. He got me a new chain for my diamond cross necklace and a finally set the tanzanite stone in a beautiful ring. He got me a few other nice things, so it was a good day. Joel's gift of the Ohio State football jersey was great!

Me with Elizabeth (LillaBeth 6 mo) and Asa 4 mo.

Sunday morning we went to Church with Mom and Dad. All of us. We got to see old friends; the Hamiltons, the Mitchell's and others. Chatted with Florida Surpreme Court judge, Kenny Bell. We knew him when he was in law school. Seeing Joe and Ann Mitchell was so fun. We haven't seen each other in seventeen years. They have four kids now, 23 - 10, all beautiful. Funny how Ann seemed so much older than me when she was 21 and I was 17.

I wanted to get with some other Tallahassee friends, but didn't want to take time from the family. I plan to go back in February for a longer visit. Chuck brought Texas Hold 'Em so we played poker all weekend. It was fun. Josh and Caleb were fun to play with - never knew what they are going to do.

David Hamilton stopped by. He lives on Mom and Dad's street, and is an old friend from the Homestead, FL days. He played Texas Hold 'Em with us that night. At the end of the game, all the men were out and it was Women and Children. Then just Julie and me. We played like girls, "I'll bet $75 thousand," when we had millions in chips. Finally, Danny dealt a single hand, best hand won. I had three sixes. Julie had nothing. I won.

We ended the night with a few rounds of Euchre.

Monday we went to Danny's business. Prayed over it, asked the Lord to bless it. We were going to drive home on Monday, but we decided to stay an extra day. Danny came in from work and said, "Joe called. Want to meet him and Karen at the Salty Dog?"

"Sure." Joe is another old friend, David's brother in fact, from the Homestead days. I hadn't seen Joe since he and Karen married four years ago. It was awesome to see them. It was the first time I got to spend time with Karen. She's really cool.

Seeing Joe felt so poignant since I've been reading my diary from '76. Pages and pages of it contain news and thoughts about Joe. The summer we were sixteen and fifteen feels so far away from being forty-four.

Dan and I thought we'd only stay at the Salty Dog for about an hour, but three hours later we left. It takes time to catch up with good friends. Thirty years have passed since we met in Homestead, and you know, in another thirty years we'll sit some place over a Christmas holiday and remember.

Mom, Elizabeth, Dad and Asa

We're home, now, in Palm Bay. Unloaded all the firewood and are settled back into our home and routine.

Dad and Buckeye

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Christmas from "1 to 92"
Grandma, 90, with a happy-looking Asa, 4 mo. ;)

Grace & Grace
Grandma Grace with Elizabeth Grace

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Now, all I have to do is be brilliant

YEAH, pretty much. Genius. Become brilliant. That's all I want for Christmas. But lookit. The Bible tells me the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, and oh by the way, created the universe, lives in me. Brilliance, genius, unknown and unmeasured creativity lives in me. Now all I have to do is tap into it.

Anyone got a drill?

Sure, I know. Prayer. Communion. Intimacy. I'm working on it. Far be it from me to EVER say prayer and reading the Word doesn't work. I hate when people say that. To them, I snark, "Ha! Posh!"

Mostly, we forget to apply the Word. Believe it. Live it. Like hey, lay hands on someone who's sick and pray for healing. Jesus did. He tells us to do the same. In fact, He tells us we'll do greater works than He did. Or, hey, the same creative genius that conceived of earth and the human existance lives in you, fellowships with you - believe it!

Do we really think Tony Robbins and like motivators have some kind of mystic, unique formula for changing peoples lives? No. All he does is supply affirmative principles, then tells people to do them and believe them. Tony Robbins changed his life becasue he started believing in himself, his ideals and didn't let go.

What can Christians do with the Holy Spirit's wisdom? Ah, the souce of my soon-to-be revealed genius.

I recently read Steve Martin's Shopgirl and The Pleasure Of My Company. I said to Tony, "the man's a genius." Then I read several reviews online. I was right. He's a genius. Perhaps one way to become a genius is to study genius? Can genius be taught? Sign me up for Genuis 101.

Why do I need brilliance or genius you ask? I need another story idea or two. I have about a dozen rattling in my head, but they need genius. Brilliance. Something tells me I'm going to have to sit down, pray, think, pray, think, pray, write, think, pray, write... Well, you get the picture.

THE ROOF - The roof is NOT on fire. The guys are here "tearing off" getting it ready to be reshingled. The dogs are going crazy trying to figure out who's up there and what in Sam Hill they're doing. Tony finally closed the gate and let Pal out. Tony's now telling me he's going to cut a hole in the kitchen wall to run a wire and I think I'm going to go hide in the office.

JUST REMEMBERED - I got a prophetic word years ago from a man who said, "The Lord says you have a good mind. Whatever you want to do, do it. Want to go to law school, go to law school. Whatever you want to do, do it."

I've decided, I want to be brilliant. Hum. Guess I'm still stuck on that. Now seriously, it was a good word and I understand the Lord's heart toward me. I love the prophetic for that reason.

LAMBERT'S CODE - I heard from the copy editor and the content editor on Lambert's Code and they both love it. I quote: "Wonderful. Great writing. Believable characters."

Man, I praised God for that, so relieved. I guess my career isn't over. LOL. I promise you, when we were at Mom and Dad's during hurricane Frances, I laid awake at night going, "That's it. This book stinks. My career is over."

"Anywhere But Here" was at Steeple Hill and I hadn't heard from them yet, and wow, I was getting beat up. But I have the source of the universe as my friend and comforter! Whoo hoo. Man, if you don't know Jesus, ask for an introduction. He's so cool!

EXERCISE - I think I'll do some and take a shower followed by a nap. Just found out I'm teaching at youth tonight.

STU - Also just learned out I'm going to lunch with our friend Stuart who's in town from Kansas City House of Prayer. Cool. I'd better get going.

FROM the book of totally useless information - The first scientifically planned slimming diet was devised in 1862 by Dr. Harvey an ear specialist, for an overweight undertake (incidentally, dieting was initially something that only men tended to do - women didn't start dieting until htey stopped wearing figuring altering corsets.)

To this I say, "Bring back the corset!"

Quote from my diary:

May 19, 1976 - "Went to church. Danny, Jerry, Pam, Sue and I sat together in the back. We had fun. We passed notes back and forth. I was sure Ron was going to say at any minutes, 'Would that back table please straighten up!' Boy, I would have died."

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Low rise jeans

I bought a pair of jeans for my birthday. Well, Tony bought them for me but I picked them out. I didn't see any markings on the tag that indicated "low rise." But sure enough, I got home, tried them on, they were. Yeah, no I don't want to hear about how I didn't try them on at the store. I have a method to tell if they'll fit without trying them on, and it works, so leave me alone.

Anyway, back to the low riders. I came out to model for Tony and Cassie. "Very cute," said Cassie. I'm hitching and pulling. "They're so low."

Now, if I had a flat, flat tummy I might consider them wearable, but sitting down reveals a whole new cleavage and that I can't abide. Besides, my underwear sticks out.

So, I took them back and bought "sits low on waist." They are comfortable, but not really much better. I can sit comfortably, but must wear long shirts. Underwear still sticks out.

It's hard to be hip.

I finished my chic lit edits. Chris Lynxwiler (www.christinelynxwiler.com) is critiquing. She'll get as much done as possible before I have to mail the manuscript tomorrow. I'm happy with the story.

Tony and I chatted about Christmas gifts. We haven't had time to do much shopping yet. Normally, we shop a lot on line, but we are coming down to the wire and running out of time. We don't have as much to buy this year, but still want to get nice presents. I'm really excited to spend Christmas in Tallahassee with the family. Everyone will be there but Joel and Kim, Kyler and Kendall. (We'll miss you guys!)

That's all for now.

Quote from my diary when I was fifteen:

September 29 '76
Only thing is, he's all Joy ever talks about. Call her up, talk twenty minutes. Nineteen of it is about Mike and no commercials. Oh well, guess I can't blame her. I feel the same way about Pete."

Monday, December 13, 2004

Santa Mouse is not real, and by the way, Merry Christmas

Driving to church yesterday I thought I'd listen to a radio station that's playing Christmas Carols. I tune in to hear a very smooth, tenor voice singing about Santa Mouse like Frank Sinatra singing a love song to Ava Gardner.

"Santa Mouusse. Santa Mouuusse." Who, I ask you, is Santa Mouse? The song was more than rediculous and I tried to picture someone like Frank or Bing Crosby or even Donny Osmond stepping up to the recording mic and giving his heart and soul to "Santa Mouse."

I'm a little urked that some small faction of this country has managed to replace the greeting Merry Christmas for Happy Holidays. What holidays? What's wrong with Happy Hanukkah during Hanukkah? Merry Christmas during Christmas, or Happy Kwanzaa (which I won't comment on) during that season. If we have to be so PC, then be PC all the way. It's hypocritical otherwise.

Cassie moved out today. Sad. All evening, I kept waiting for her to come home. But Carrie is home from FSU for Christmas and they only have one car between them, so Cassie had to go back home. We loved having her here and it's treasured time we'll always cherish with her.

Yesterday Shawn Bolz spoke at New Covenant. It was wonderful. If you ever get a chance to hear him, or read any of his books, do! He's probably one of my favorite people. Partly because it's a God thing, partly because he's so cool. He makes the Father real, heaven real, life in Jesus real and edifying. I felt like my spiritual palate was cleansed yesterday. It was what I needed. Tony and I got good prophetic encouragement. What we needed to press on and press in.

Carrie came over last night. I opened up the living room sleeper sofa and Carrie, Cassie and I curled up and watched "Young at Heart." Tony watched too, but I think he fell asleep a quarter of the way into it. I wasn't sure they would like the movie - Doris Day and Frank Sinatra, but they loved it. You guys loved it, right? We sang along with Doris which got us laughing pretty hard.

Me, Carrie and Cassie

I finished the other book I was reading. Stayed up until 3:00 a.m. Got up around 10 a.m., chatted with friends, then went to the library to work on Anywhere edits.

Now, it's time to go to bed. Is December flying by or is it just me.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Yule logs, baking cookies and man, I'm tired

Turning forty-four is like the Equator of age. Clearly, the middle of agedom. Double it and you've got eighty-eight. Another odd thing about forty-four is if you transpose the numbers, you still have forty-four. After this, I can't transpose the numbers 'cause it only makes me older. Forty-five transposed is fifty-four. Up until Tuesday, I could have been thirty-four instead of forty-three.

But I ramble. I think being in the southern hemisphere of life is already getting to me.

We skipped the In The Mantle II conference today. I was wiped out. We slept until eleven. But even more than needing sleep, the house needed cleaning, laundry needed doing and I had to make 4 dozen cookies for Tony's staff party.

Let's talk about that for a minute. How is it that I, the wife, have to make dozens of cookies for Tony's staff party? I volunteer all year long, and I end up supplying goods for his party? This does not make sense to me. Not to mention, I don't want to cookie swap four dozen other cookies to bring home. We do not need that many cookies.
Never once did Tony have to bring "a side" to one of my work Christmas parties. Makes you go, "Hum..."

I read a Fanny Flagg book, "The Redbird Christmas." Very good. Now I'm reading Steve Martin's "Shopgirl." I was reading Kate Chopin's "Awakening" but I have to confess... I skipped to the end and read the last page. I liked her style, but geez, get on with the story, eh?

Back to this weekend. A couple of take aways from Bob Jones of White Dove Ministires (not the university.) Wisdom whispers, don't ignore the slight impression in our spirit man, pray, pray for the president, pray for our troops and the end of this war. We've got a tiger by the tail and we have to complete the fight. Pray now for the next president, keep a short account with God, rest and abide in Him during prayer - our Daddy wants to talk to us. Be vocal, in love, about righteousness. Condoning sin binds the sinner.

I'm hungry and if I'm not hungry, I want to be. Not for food, but for the will of my Father.

I wish I could write more deep thoughts for you all to read, but I'm tired and my mind is fried. Hasta luego.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

What I did on my Saturday Vacation

OK, so it's not really a vacation, Saturday. But it could be considered a mini-mini vacation at the end of the week. After getting my hair done this morning, I came home and read a good book. Yum. I started it a few days ago, but finished it this afternoon. Now that is a good day. Tony had a budget meeting and Cassie had a orchestra concert. Now we are eating pizza and enjoying a fire in the fireplace.

I am still fighting this cold. I needed a do-nothing day. I woke up yesterday and today, so tired. I should have slept until longer, but I couldn't. Maybe Monday. I lead worship tomorrow. I hope my voice is up to it.

I'm working on Macy's story. I've finished the first rewrite/edit and am on my second pass. It's shaping up nice, I think. I've made some major cuts, but beefed story lines my editor wanted - and rightfully so. It's so weird, as a writer, I think something is good only to find out it's not that great. LOL. I'm a little scared to come up with a new idea cause I'm not sure it's good enough. But I must. I had a fun idea the other day, but the next day I realized it's the same plot as an old movie. So, I'm not sure.

Busy week next week. Sunday night is dinner and Euchre at the Stebbins, Tuesday my birthday, Wednesday youth, Thursday the start of In the Mantle 2 Conference with Bob Jones, Shawn Bolz and Paul Keith & Wanda Davis. I have an online ACFW meeting Thursday and a Friday morning meeting with the conference speakers, which is ALSO Tony's birthday. Friday night and Saturday night I'm singing on the worship team for the conference. Soooo, it'll be busy.

Click on the Photos link to see some new pictures. :)

Friday, December 03, 2004

Friday, it's Friday 12.3.04

I was going to write something but Tony just came in and said it was time to go to Fire Dweller prayer meeting. So, more later. It's going down to the 40's tonight.