Evening Attire Required

Really, evening attire was required! Sleep pants or sweats were requested for our CareGroup Christmas get together this year.

Honey made lasagna for a huge herd of folk. The Group did us proud, just a row left over.

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Everyone was in attendance, that hardly ever happens!

The Subject came by. This story made me laugh. He was invited for dinner the day before, and when he arrived The Boy and MalPal were heading out. The Subject needed some clarification, “wait, we’re not eating?” They said no, they would eat later, they had to go see MalPal’s grandfather. The Subject said he would catch up with them later, he came to EAT!

Next to Subject is The Bike Master, the back of New Couple Brenda’s head, Donaldo, New Couple Jeff, Three Good Kid’s Mom, and Honey.

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Here is the side of New Couple Brenda, Tea For Grammy (also known as frequent commenter Marlene), Donaldo, New Couple Jeff and Three Good Kid’s Dad and Mom.

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The Three Good Kid’s Parental Units with Keelyody (the walking buddy) and her husband The PC2 (Peanuts Champ in second place!!!). Speaking of The Peanuts Champ, she successfully avoided the camera! how did she manage that??

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Marlene was interested in Honey’s Penzey spices. He introduced her to his stash.

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She likey the stash! She borrowed some stash to see if she will buy her own stash.

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This was the talking room. Kentucky Jim and his wife, The Oreo Mom, Donaldo, Tea For Grammy, and the backs of New Couple Brenda and Jeff.

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There’s New Couple Brenda’s face!!!

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There was a new game to be learned. Ticket To Ride lessons were given in the family room.

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A loud game of Peanuts was happening in the kitchen involving, who else, The Peanuts Champ, PC2, Ab-Cat, Honey and me. Remember how I was bragging about my Christmas Day win? Yeah, I spent the majority of this game in the hole. Beaten by a newbie! PC2 said he had never played before. He didn’t act like he had never played before.

I was glad Honey played. He said he was too old and slow, but he got better as he went on. I said he was blowing off the cobwebs in his brain and he should do it more often!

Lots of yummy food, good conversation and dendrites were fluffed, all in all a good night!

Happy New Year Guys!!! Welcome 2012!

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Christmas Day 2011

Otherwise known as “The Day of the Big Sleep”.

After feasting on much good food, a goodish amount of the young folk retired for naps.

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Not Goomba though! He watched movies, played games with his Mama and read.

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We had our usual rousing game of Peanuts! We would officially like to welcome Beeve back to the table after being inexplicably absent for several years. Aunt Phyllis and The Ab-Cat are never absent from the table.

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Nor are Team Levine. Robbie had his best game ever. Lindsay kept saying we were ruining her life.

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I would like to humbly point out to the world wide web that I WON!!

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I even beat Ab-Cat who is has LIGHTENING speed and mad Peanuts skillz.

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Just as everyone was leaving we discovered that a candle had been quietly going crazy. It somehow split it’s side.

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And silently spilled it’s guts. We must have caught it shortly after it happened because it had cooled to the perfect temperature to just peel up nicely without too much effort. I forgot to take a picture of how it ran all down the wall and pooled on the carpet.

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This was one of the highlights for me. Back in the fall my Dad asked if I wanted my Mother’s silver punch bowl that she had won during her many years of service with Home Interiors and Gifts. He brought it over, all cleaned up and stored in airtight plastic. Christmas was it’s debut. Loverly, isn’t she?

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I always wish I had taken more pictures. I did worse than usual this year. There are many people not represented at all.

I have to say that The Boy thoroughly enjoyed dinner, since he never did get his birthday dinner of turkey and dressing! BUT, we had a great idea! Our cousin Mike and The Boy share the same birthday, June 21, and turkey and dressing just happens to be one of Mike’s favorite meals as well. We have made plans to reconvene sometime around the first day of summer to celebrate our boys and enjoy another feast together again!!! Why has it taken us so long to formulate this plan???

There it is, in all it’s spotty photographic glory, Christmas 2011!

Christmas Eve 2011 Part Dos

We now head back to Christmas Eve. I regaled you with the first part of the day, spent with our dear friends, The Hostlers. I now subject you to the second part, PRESENTS!!!!

The cast of characters. Honey and The Boy.

I knew there would be bothering when these two sat next to each other on the couch.IMG_8904

There was.

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Making The Boy’s “Shy Face” from long ago.

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Mousey persevered in spite of her truly heinous headache.

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The Ab-Cat resisted my efforts to record her fine self for posterity.

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The Grandpa did not, he smiled handsomely for his close up.

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Mousey gave her Daddy some spices. Wrapped nicely in the box they came in!

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Honey watched a show about figuring out how restaurants make their specialties. This is supposedly the secret recipe for the Outback Special. Mmmmmm, steak!

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Mousey gave Ab-Cat The Hunger Games trilogy. I have been told I need to read this series. Katie’s excitement was too much for her, she had to take a little rest. ALL night long.

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For some reason Abby did not get around to giving her sister her birthday present in August. We marveled at her wrapping skillz.

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Honey has been wanting a fettuccini alfredo bowl to replace our old Ikea plastic, too big, bubble bowl that also serves as an ice bucket at big events. I gave him two, so he could choose. You know how a choice is near and dear to my heart. He picked the one made in Italy with ‘maters on it. Not really a surprise there.

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The Boy gave me a new chai mug, I LOVE it!!!!

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Abby’s gift appears  be a win for the entire family! We are having fun dancing, bowling, Mario-ing, and NetFlick streaming! I am an excellent bowler! Who knew?

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Mousey took a photography class this semester and decided that pictures were in her future. Unfortunately, the camera she wanted was faincy, and also pricey. It was about the only thing she received.

We gave her this one, but she has decided to return it and get the faincy-ier one by adding her own money. Better her than us.

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I am expecting to see some quality fo-toes from her!

I had a GREAT Christmas haul! TWO cases of DaVinci Sugar free Chai, a new desk chair, because our old one was ripped AND uncomfortable, a new work blo-dryer because my 24 year old salon dryer is gasping for it’s last blast of air, a new flat iron because our massive amounts of hair over here plumb wore out our old one, a timer and squirt bottle, also for work, and my favorite movie of the year, The Help. I also received a super special gift that has not arrived, but I’ll post about it when it comes.

There was more good stuff but this was a smackerel of the bounty. Tomorrow it’s all about the WII.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hi Guys! Thanks for stopping over during the Christmas holiday Hodgepodge, and a special thanks to Joyce for taking time out her holiday break to get us organized!

1. Share something you loved about your Christmas Day.

There was much to love! The food was yummy, the company good, the card games were fun, it was a good one!

2. You get to put five items in a time capsule to be opened in 100 years, what items would you choose and why?

1. A Bible. Just in case our world has strayed so far from the Truth that they have can’t find their Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

2. A picture of our family. I am doing this under the premise that whoever opens this capsule would probably be family that would not have known us. Maybe heard about us, in a good way I hope, but never met us. 

3. My Blog address. I know how much I would have LOVED to find a journal of my ancestors! If they had a notion, they could learn a great deal about us and life from this time period from the blob!

4. A bottle of DaVinci Sugar Free Chai. Everyone should have the opportunity to have a cup of Chai. In my opinion.

5. A People magazine, as a special warning to future generations. If they are not careful, this is what society can devolve into. 100 years ago, who would have ever believed that anyone could be interested in The Kardashians, train wrecks like Lindsay or Britney, our so called political leaders, rich Housewives from all over America behaving badly, who did what nasty thing to win money, trashy people parading their dirty laundry on national TV, or the creatures from The Jersey Shore? We need to warn them, it can happen again!! If we do not learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them. Heaven FORBID.

3. What do you like on a cracker?

Cheese ball!!!!!!! Our family recipe.

3 8 oz. cream cheese

2 pkg of thin sliced beef (around 3 oz.) cut into strips, then into little squares, I use my kitchen shears.

1/4 c. chopped onion

5T. dried parsley

4T. mayo

3t. Dijon mustard

Mix with mixer, shape into ball, have your crackers handy!

4. Do you make resolutions at the start of a new year? How’d that work out for you this past year?

I am not usually a resolution kind of girl. Of course I like to get myself more organized, try and get up on the Eliptical, make an effort to do better at this and that, but never a one big RESOLUTION thing.

That being said, I do have a few goals. In no particular order.

1. Paint Mousey’s bathroom and hang the new curtain, shower curtain, towels and decorations.

2. Do likewise in The Ab-Cat’s room and bathroom.

3. Get back on the low carb bandwagon and lose 15 pounds. At first I said 10, but hey, I can dream big, right??!!

4. Try and control my impulse to call or text The Boy more than I ought to when he goes away to college for the first time in Chicago this semester. I make no guarantees.

5. Make either heads OR tails out of my hair/craft room. It has been on the list for years now, and it just keeps getting uglier and messier. I probably need to stop with all the crafts. That might help.

5. What’s a song or song lyric you’ll associate with 2011?

I listen to the radio or cd’s so seldom I can’t even think of an answer for this one.

6. How will you ring in the new year?

We haven’t decided yet. I know we are not hosting, nor attending a party. We will be ‘tatered up at home, just the way we like it. Fondue was mentioned. Maybe banana splits like we did last year. There is always the possibility of games, movies, cards and our new obsession, Abby’s Christmas WII! I am not even sure who will be here, that’s how much I don’t know.

7. What is something you look forward to in 2012?

As usual, I look forward to seeing our lives unfold. I love having a front row seat to watch our children wade into adulthood. Also looking forward to inching closer to retirement with Honey, he can’t wait!! 

8. Insert your own random thought here

We finally made our annual Ugly Christmas Cookies. The artists were in fine form.

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Not these 2 Moody Bible Institute, Chicago bound,  knuckleheads. They either ate their cookies or they were so offensive they could not even be photographed.

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Honey’s works of art. He did better than usual. As in not as ugly as usual.

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This was my favorite of his. Can any Michiganders tell what his plan was?

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The Ab-Cat made the most sparkling beauties. I loved her stocking. I’m pretty sure it was the first time the stocking cutter was used.

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Mousey made a gingerbread couple, walking the Red Carpet.

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The rest of Mousey’s artistry, and mine.

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There you have it, ugliest cookies in town, but DA-licious!!!

Thanks for stopping by! We wish you a Happy New Year!

Christmas Eve 2011 Part Uno

Hi Guys! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and all was merry and bright! We had a good one and there will continue to be random celebrating throughout the week. We have yet to decorate the annual ugly cutout cookies, and there is still the CareGroup Christmas gathering this Friday to look forward to.

We hosted on Christmas day and once again I am reminded that this whole shebang could not be accomplished without Honey and his skillz in the kitchen. A special, big thank you to Honey, my very own kiss on the cheek from God!

I realize I have been on a bit of an unintended blogging break, and it has been nice. Not that blogging in any way is a nuisance to me, it is usually only a joy, but it was great to not be formulating posts in my mind for a few days. Especially when we had all the hosting business going on. But I am back, and ready to get on the stick!

Because this is another expression I have heard my whole life, and never understood, I goggled it for your viewing pleasure.

Start working, as in I have to get on the stick and start preparing dinner. This synonym for get going or get busy alludes to getting a car going by manipulating the gearshift, or stick. [Slang; early 1900s]

You are most welcome.

We will go back to Christmas Eve, because I need to record everything for future reference. You know, my forgetful brain and all.

As I mentioned, we celebrated on Christmas Eve with our dear friends, The Hostlers and my Dad. Ruby Tuby’s was selected as the place to gather, then we returned to our house for the nonsense that was sure to come. Because with this crowd, nonsense abounds.

Normally, we have Nurse Lauren, on right, take our family picture for the Christmas card. She was spared the arduous task this year because our cousin Lindsay got the tedious job done on Thanksgiving day. I hope you enjoyed the respite Lauren, next Christmas Eve will be back around before you know it!!!

We took pictures of their family instead. And I am here to tell you, they are a much more compliant bunch to photograph!

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My personal favorite!

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I believe I may have mentioned Rae Babe has had a BANNER year! She got a notion last January to get fit. She picked up that pretend ball and walked, rode her bike, and eventually ran with it! She trained and competed in the 5 K Turkey Trot in downtown Detroit on Thanksgiving Day! She is like Wonder Woman!!!

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Hat tip to Autumn, I lifted this picture straight from her Facebook page.

Looking SCRUMTRULESCENT Rae Babe, we are all SO proud of your achievement!!!!!!!

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Love her, love her family!

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Here are the Girls who bravely went to Chicago the week of Christmas. Disney on My IPod Lauren with her companions; I’m Done With Chicago Autumn and My Legs Are Freezing Abby. Abby sang Hakuna Matata for days after returning.

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Grandpa, looking festive in his new holiday sweater, taking in all the nonsense.

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Because we had already had the NutHatch Family Picture of 2011in the bag, there was a surplus of extra time. We decided to get a shot of the kids, in which they each had a turn at being Ruin-ers. Mousey smiled appropriately in all, but sort of ruined them all because she was enduring a splitting headache and had already ‘tatered up.

Lauren’s turn.

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Aut’s having a go and why is Abby blurry?

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The Boy, as usual.

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The Boy number 2.

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There’s a good one!

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And even better!!!

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A lovely evening spent with dear old friends.

I will be back after the Hodgepodge tomorrow for Christmas Eve Part Dos. Thank you for your patience.

The Big and Small of it

Hi Guys! Only 2 more days until Christmas, or as Mousey so lovingly called it, ‘WHAT AM I DOING GOING TO SCHOOL TWO DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS?”

Today is her last day of school for the year, which sounds way more exciting than it really is. We are all looking forward to the break where we can lounge together, bake and decorate ugly cookies and make and eat food. PLUS, we have some thrifting to attend to, accompanied by our TWO 50% off entire purchase coo-pins!!

Then there will be a whirlwind of activity, a hunting and gathering all of the many incidentals needed to help The Boy get ready to leave the Mother who labored to give him life, so he can head out to get some learnin’ about God and the Bible, and stuff.

In BIG news, The Boy cleaned his room!!!!!!! In small news, Mousey has not.

In BIG news, I am finished Christmas shopping. In small news, Honey is the worst list maker known to man.

In BIG news, we have finalized plans with our dear friends The Hostler’s for Christmas Eve. In even BIGGER news, we will not be consuming Rachel, as Schmenky was worried about. We have chosen Ruby Tuby’s for it’s healthier cuisine.

In BIG news, I am almost finished with my wrapping and cleaning. In small news, are you ever really finished with your cleaning?

In BIG news, my 30% off Kohl’s coo-pin came in mighty handy this Christmas. In small news, they didn’t have a couple of things I was hoping to purchase using the 30% off coo-pin. It is the way of our world, isn’t it?

In BIG news, I am thoroughly enjoying having Ab-Cat back in the home! We went to lunch yesterday and finished up the Christmas shopping, it was SO nice! In small news, I was not able to go to our friendly neighborhood Coney Island to pick up our Christmas ham because I was fairly certain one more stop would have caused her head to explode.

In BIG news, we ALL went to our friendly neighborhood Coney Island last night to pick up the Christmas ham. We combined it with a tasty dinner. I had fish and chips, or as Honey calls it, fish and chimps. In small news, Honey decided we did not need a 16 pounder and chose a 10 pounder instead. It is now resting quietly in the garage refrigerater, next to its co-meat, the seventeen pound turkey.

In BIG news, in two days we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who came to save the world because we cannot save ourselves. In small news Merry Christmas from The NutHatch Family!!!!

Three Days Away

How about a good old,3 day before Christmas, list? I feel like all I’ve got are little bits and bobs to talk about.

1. Thank you all for your kind words regarding our CareGroup friend Jan. I pondered NanC’s thought about her arriving in time to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.

2. After my Mom passed away I remember thinking doing everyday things were so surreal. I am having the same thoughts now. Jan just passed away and we are going Christmas shopping, cleaning the house, making dinner, having everyday life, all the while praying for her sons and her brother and his wife. Surreal.

3. I put a big dent in my cleaning yesterday. All those things that don’t seem to get done very often. Things involving vacuum cleaner hoses and many paper towels and spray bottles. Who invited all the dust and spiders? I never saw any spiders, only evidence of their occupancy.

4. The Ab-Cat went to Chicago on Tuesday with the young adult group she attends. She returned home last night to our great delight! We missed her! And I don’t want to sleep one more night with her snoring little dog! Katie was absolutely bereft without her Mama.

5. If we were that lonesome with a child gone overnight, whatever will we do when The Boy leaves for Moody in January??? He is beyond excited. I am beyond trepidation.

6. Our big computer is still joofered. Honey is seriously contemplating a new tower instead of a fourth wipe. Whatever. We have endured this before, we’re getting to be old pros. On a side note, we are considering an arranged marriage for one of our daughters with a nerd clause firmly stated.

7. After an uncertain start, we are getting together with our dear friends The Hostler’s for Christmas Eve!! Looking forward to that time honored tradition! My Dad will be joining us as well. I was trying to think how long we have all known each other. At least 18 years. Where should we eat Rae Babe?

8. I was talking to Capri Deb at lunch this week. She was telling me about some melatonin pills she bought for her daughter, newly hired for the night shift, Nurse Steph. They evidently help with the sleeping of people on night shift work. This captured my interest because Honey has worked at night for the majority of our married life. He can be a notoriously poor sleeper.

I goggled melatonin to edjamacate myself on its glorious properties. Wikipedia gave me the lowdown here, and it sounds like a wonder drug. For Honey and the rest of us non shift working folks. It ran the gamut, preventing cancer in night working folk, perimenopausal women, ADD affected, troubled sleepers, headaches, auto immune affected.

So clearly, we should buy stock in this brand. I bought a bottle at Sam’s and took one last night. While I did awaken at 1:30 and my usual 4:30, I was able to fall back asleep, and I do believe I slept sounder throughout. I am now on a campaign to get the household involved.

9. Today is the day I need to pick up our 16 pound, spiral sliced ham from our friendly neighborhood Coney Island. Honey said they had a 14 pounder last night at their Ford Motor Company Christmas Feast and there is no way we need a 16 pound ham for our NutHatch Christmas Feast-ette. Good to know before I actually buy it.

10. Fuzzy said his ham was DA-licious, so that is also good to know before I actually buy it.

Have a pleasant, productive, and proactive Thursday. Needed one more P.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hi Guy! Special thanks go out to Joyce for taking time out of her busy week before Christmas to gather all of us Hodgepodge-ers together!

I almost didn’t get to participate. Our main computer is all joofered up and when Honey went to put the virus protection on my new Precious, Nettie the Netbook, she was having NONE of it. Bless Honey’s persevering heart, he finally got the thing to straighten up and fly right. We need a geek in the family!

1. Are you cooking Christmas dinner? How many will be round your table this year? What are we having?

We are! There will be 15 sitting around 2 tables. Dinner will be turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, ham, corn, broccoli salad, green bean casserole, rolls and butter, delicious desserts and there could be more.

Our children are happy, they like to be home for Christmas. Me too.

2. What is one must-have Christmas cookie in your house?

Cut out cookies. The kids love them best and decorating them has become a family tradition.

From 2008.

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Ugly, but delicious.

3. Santa likes a glass of milk with his cookies. Do you? What kind of milk is on tap at your house-skim? almond? soy? full fat (Gasp!)

2%, there are not many milk drinkers around here these days. Only for cereal.

4. Time magazine recently named their ‘Person of the Year’ for 2011. This is the person the editors believe had the greatest impact, for better or worse, in the past year. This year they chose ‘The Protester’. Your thoughts? Who would you name Person of the Year

Hmmmm, Person of the Year. The world had a lot to protest this year.

My first thought when I read this was the Wall Street protesters and I have to say I was a little disgusted. Does anyone really know what they are protesting, or what they want? There may have been a kernel of something there at the beginning, but it seems like they are just a bunch of disorganized squatters now.

Of course the protesters in other countries are probably more on the noble path. They have a heck of a lot more to protest about, like basic human rights.

I am with Joyce on this. They should give give this honor to someone doing good for mankind. I guess some of them fall into that category.

5. December 21st is National Flashlight Day… when was the last time you needed a flashlight and did you know right where to find one?

It seems like every summer we loose power once or twice. The flashlights are in the cupboard in the laundry room. We like to light candles too.

6. candy canes…yum or yuck?

They are fine, but I wouldn’t waste my carbs on them. There are MUCH yummier things to be had at Christmas!.

7. What Christmas carol lyric means the most to you?

Joy to the world the Lord is come, let Earth receive her King. It was a good night.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I wanted to thank you all for praying for our CareGroup friend Jan struggling with multiple myeloma. She went home to be with the Lord yesterday afternoon with her sons at her side.

This picture was taken at Birthday Club in May of 2009, before her first stem cell transplant. Jan is front right.

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I am thankful we were able to visit with her on Sunday.

Merry Christmas, hold your loved ones tight.

Overjoyed

We had a visit from one of those rare Decorating Elves over the weekend. I am positive it was a Boy.

The Elf got it right though.

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Jesus is all over the joy.

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Potent Quotable

Wouldn’t life be worth the living
Wouldn’t dreams be coming true
If we kept the Christmas spirit
All the whole year through?
~Author Unknown

Christmas gift suggestions:  To your enemy, forgiveness.  To an opponent, tolerance.  To a friend, your heart.  To a customer, service.  To all, charity.  To every child, a good example.  To yourself, respect.  ~Oren Arnold

Keep your Christmas-heart open all the year round.  ~Jessica Archmint

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