Wings As Eagles: November 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at ' Pearl,
on a day in December,
"Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas
'Gram always remembers."

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue ... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.

Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

and ended on Saturday!

On Saturday, I finished up come computer work for my online quilt class I'm teaching. I'll be in Chicago next week when I need to send out lesson material, so I completed last minute details and schedules emails to be sent. That taken care of for next week. Cross that off my list!

Then I spent the rest of the day getting props and costumes ready for the Christmas program I am doing with my Sunday School class of first, second and third graders. Plus I typed, edited graphics, printed, cut out and designed Christmas decorations for my classroom.

I absolutely love preparing decorations and crafts that help the kids learn about God's Word! I will usually spend a couple weeks on a Bible lesson and repeat it, but in a different way.

The first time, I will tell the story to them. The second Sunday we will act it out or put together a large poster or craft that tells the story. The third Sunday, if needed, I will come up with another way to teach the same story. By that time, the kids know the story by heart, hopefully!

Here's some of my cut-out mess from decorating...

and then on Friday...

Friday we cooked our turkey dinner and put up Christmas decorations. Dad put the turkey out on the grill early in the morning to start cooking. And mid-morning I started the potatoes, dressing and gravy.

Meanwhile, Jena brought up all the boxes of Christmas decorations and started putting up stuff in the house. She had a lot of it done by the time I was able to help after dinner.

With Christmas music playing and SNOW! Yes, can you believe it? Our first SNOW of the season!!! We had several inches of snow on Friday. It looked so pretty coming down and made it feel all the more like Christmas!

Check out more pictures here, here and here.

Here's what our day looked like:

and continued on Thursday...

Thursday, Thanksgiving day, we spent not doing a whole lot of stuff in the morning and early afternoon. We were planning to go to Uncle Ron's house in Copeland that evening for supper, so Jena and I had some fun taking weird and funny pictures before we left!

We had a blast! Jena and I were laughing so hard! Dad heard us downstairs and came down to see what we were up to and then he was roped into the pictures too! :)

Want to see more photos? Click here...

It all started with the wedding Thursday...

My end-of-the-week fun started on Wednesday as Dad, Jena and I went to a wedding for some friends from church. Jena and I were the cake and punch servers and has such a fun time that evening!

Jena served punch and I served the cake. This was the first time I have had the opportunity to cut and serve a wedding cake and there is a definite way to cut it, slice it and serve it! I must have done ok, because I was fired from my job during the evening!

Jena and I has a fantastic time and helped the clean-up team after the wedding, so it was after 10:30 before we arrived home.

Here are a few pictures...

What a fun few days!

The last several days have been fun and relaxing! I took a several day vacation from work, except for answering emails, shipping orders and the essentials. It turned out to be a nice few days with the Thanksgiving holiday and time spent with family!

I have a list of things to do that I keep adding to and making more notes of things that need to get done before I leave for Chicago on Tuesday. Plus Jena will be leaving for her mission trip at the end of next week, so I have meals to plan for Dad this week.

But the last few days were worth it!! And here's what I did...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 32:11
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice you righteous ones; and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Our Thanksgiving plans

Sunday we had a Thanksgiving dinner at church after the morning service which Dad, Jena and I all enjoyed. I helped in the kitchen with the meal and was finally able to get something to eat in between keeping plenty of bread and serving dessert.

I took two coconut cream pies which looked wonderful when I took them out of the oven Saturday morning. But by the next day the meringue had started to pull away from the crust. I think my first coconut cream pie actually turned out better than these did.

I'll just keep practicing and perfecting until I get them looking just the way I would like them to be. However they tasted yummy (I can verify that - I had the one and only last piece!) because every single crumb of pie was gone!

Krissa is so excited to be getting a break from classes, newspaper editor and the college campus! She and a friend left Greenville yesterday afternoon and drive to Atlanta, GA to see some friends and spend the night there.

Just imagine: Thanksgiving traffic and bumper to bumper traffic in Atlanta! I wouldn't want to be driving! When Krissa called last night she said the traffic was terrible...they were stuck in stand-still traffic for 40 minutes!

Today they are back on the road again...headed toward Florida where her friend, Carolyn, lives. They plan to spend their Thanksgiving vacation there and won't leave until next Monday to head back to campus. Then only 3 more weeks of school until Christmas break!! Hooray!! Actually, that does have a bit of a downside: I have to clean out her room - opps! :) But it's always fun to have her home!

Tonight Dad, Jena and I are going to a wedding for a couple friends from church. Jena and I are helping serve the cake and punch at the reception, so we are both looking forward to that!

Tomorrow evening we are going to get together with the Jantz side of the family at Uncle Ron's house at Copeland. Everyone should be there who is living around here - Grandma, us and my two cousins and their families. That will be a fun time!

Then tomorrow or Friday Jena and I plan to put up Christmas decorations and hopefully cook our turkey, dressing and potatoes on Friday. That's the plan, anyway!

Isn't she just adorable?

Every once in a while, she just needs a lap to sit on!

Friday, November 16, 2007

You know you are living in 2007 when...

I found this in my morning blog reading from Laura and thought is was so true and funny also! :)

1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.

You did didn't you?

Thursday, November 15, 2007 happened...

I was sitting in the kitchen answering emails and all of a sudden heard a loud crash. I ran into the living room and found this mess that a certain little white furball knocked off the table.

I'm actually surprised this hasn't happened before now. For some reason she loves carting those little pumpkins all over the house. I've found them hidden everywhere! That's what happens since I posted this last week! :)

And just think...what will happen will when we put up Christmas decorations...??

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I'm hooked on Christmas music

I hadn't planned on starting to listen to Christmas music until this week sometime, but I couldn't stand it any longer. Jena mentioned Friday that she just started those Christmas tunes and from then on I can't get those wonderful songs out of my head!

So, I have to admit, even though I don't officially start decorating for Christmas or get into that season of the year until after Thanksgiving, I have started listening to Christmas music.

But after all, I have so many cds and songs that are Christmas and you can only play them a little over a month, so I might as well get an early start!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Getting into trouble

I can just see Skittles doing something like this with that little face looking up at me saying, "I'm looking so cute and having so much fun, that I'm not in trouble, am I?"

Friday, November 9, 2007

How many packages did you get today?

It's no surprise when FedEx or UPS shows up at our house. Usually the packages that are coming and going are for me. Since I have a mail order/Internet business, mailing service company trucks make our house an almost daily stop!

While I was in Houston for quilt market, I ordered some additional things that I normally wouldn't be getting. So there were a few more packages this week.

Now that I look back at this week, I think FedEx and UPS have each been here at least three days this week with deliveries. You have to know that before you understand the question Dad asked me right before lunch, which was, "So, how many packages did you get today?"

Only 2. FedEx brought a little one this morning and UPS was just here with another small box. It was a logical question considering that yesterday I was dragging a huge, long box in the front door that UPS delivered plus another package of fabric!

But when you take into account that Monday morning I just took several armloads of empty boxes and packaging to the dumpster and then today this is what my trash pile from this week looks like, I guess you would ask too how many packages were delivered today?!?!

Thank goodness the dumpster truck will be here Monday morning and empty the dumpster- then I can fill the dumpster back up with more empty boxes! :)

eBay Holiday Time

I am always interested in the newest and greatest things eBay is implementing on their auction site since I do quite a bit of buying and selling there. Last year they did a lot of holiday advertising to increase buying and selling online, which benefited me as well as others, I am sure.

I've been wondering what they've been planning for this Christmas season and was glad to see an eBay holiday magazine in today's mail. I flipped through the pages to the back and to my surprise was greeted with the magazine being addresses to Krissa!

I was certain my name would be on it, considering all my eBay trading. Plus Krissa has not purchased anything from eBay with her home address for the last several months. Not that it really matters who it is addressed to, but it makes me wonder about their marketing.

I wonder where they are getting names and addresses. I also wonder, since Dad, Jena and I have all made eBay purchases in the past, will we be receiving more eBay fliers in the mail or is this a random selection mailing? Just my curiosity, I guess...


Krissa is so excited and looking forward to Thanksgiving break! She only has another week and a day or two of classes before a much-needed break. She's not coming home for the Thanksgiving holiday, but is driving to Florida with one of her friends for the weekend.

She's been thinking ahead to classes she needs to take next semester and hopefully her class load will be less than this semester. She still will be the Collegian editor and be involved in other school activities, but at least with a few less credit hours, she may be able to get more than just a couple hours of sleep at night.


In our study of character traits at kid's club on Wednesday evenings, we are talking about thankfulness. It actually tied in very well since Thanksgiving is this month.

How many things I take for granted that I can be so thankful for! As I was preparing my Scripture verse material for this last Wednesday, I began to think of things that I am thankful for and the list in my head kept going on and on.

Most of all I am thankful for Jesus Christ and His death on the cross, allowing me to become part of the family of God and His gift of eternal life! I am thankful He is by my side every single day to comfort, encourage and help me in any situation.

Here in the United States, I have the freedom to worship God and read His Word. It's so easy to take that for granted and realize that people in other countries don't have that privilege. I have so much to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

My trip to Houston

My trip last weekend to Houston was great and wonderful! I had a marvelous time seeing the newest and greatest of fabrics, notions and supplies in the quilting world! It was a busy and stressful four days, but I'm glad I went. I learned lots and am eager to get some new ideas and projects started.

Why would I think that November might be just a little less busy than the past two months? I should know better. I usually come home from quilt shows with so many ideas that I want to get starting cutting and stitching right away. I have most of my thoughts and ideas stored in a notebook I wrote in all weekend and will over the next few months, read through and decide which things to implement in my business. I can only do so much and need to learn to limit myself to just a few things and not try to do everything! I haven't quite mastered that yet! :)

I love flying and traveling, but never do I look forward to the hustle and bustle of getting through security lines and boarding the plane. Especially when I have lots of luggage to tote around. I think my luggage just about doubled on the way home. I only checked one suitcase and then took my computer and purse with me on the plane.

I bought more than I planned and as I was packing up Sunday morning, discovered that there was no way I would be able to fit everything in my one checked bag and carry-on computer bag. Thank goodness I had packed an extra large zippered tote bag as a "just in case needed bag". I ended up with my checked luggage being my overwhelmingly heavy suitcase (thank goodness for rolling wheels!) and a box packed with fliers, brochures, books and magazines.

I stuffed and I mean stuffed the stabilizers and threads I bought into my extra tote to take on the place. And then stuffed anything I couldn't fit in my other bags and boxes in my computer bag. Then as we are in line at the airport picking up our boarding passes, I realize I have three carry-on pieces - stuffed full tote bag, bulging computer bag and my purse. My only option is to take my purse apart and stuff everything that was inside between my two other bags.

How in the world am I going to do that? I'm not quite sure how, but I did. Just when I didn't think I could fit in one more thing, I did. I was more than ready to get out of the airport and on the drive home with my overwhelming load of baggage! And just for your info, no, I don't have every single thing unpacked yet, but I'm getting there! :)

For all of you who love the quilting aspect of my trip and want more details, you can read my post here on my trip!

Sitting in a line at the airport, waiting to board.
After being on my feet all weekend, my feet just
couldn't tolerate any more standing!

A view of Texas from up high!
I really love flying, but could do without
the lines and security at the airport!

It's a little too early...

I have been sitting here on the couch, my computer in my lap, watching football and all of a sudden see the first Christmas tv advertisement of the year. Today is only November 4th - just a little too early in my mind for Christmas.

This past week I have been in various stores in Dodge City, Wichita and McPherson and everything is all decorated in red and green. Whatever happened to the Thanksgiving holiday??

Saturday, November 3, 2007

One year ago today...

Today is a special day. One that brings sorrow, but also brings great joy! One year ago today, Mom was finally free from pain, sickness and the hardships we have on this earth. One year ago today, Mom stepped into the doors of her permanent home - heaven!

I can remember the details of a year ago as though it were yesterday. It has been a long and difficult year for myself and my family, but one in which God has shown His faithfulness and unfailing love and compassion.

There are days that I miss Mom so much. My heart just aches to talk to her and see her again. But I know that her absence from this earthly world is not the end. I know that God has a purpose in taking Mom home to be with Him. I may not like it. I may not understand it. But I can trust that God has only the best planned and this is just part of it.

Having to endure the grieving and sorrow of Mom's death has been the hardest thing I have ever experienced. Nothing can prepare you for the death of a loved one. God has taught me over the past year to lean and rely on Him in a way I have never had to before.

Through the sad and difficult times, He has taught me to rejoice and be glad. Safely tucked in His arms, with my complete trust in Him, I can continue to keep going on each day. How thankful can I be for the great God that I have and the years He gave me with my Mom!!!

Jena wrote this poem, When I Said Goodbye, in memory of Mom and describes the feelings around our house so well this past week.