Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Figuring Out Christmas

Here we go again....


Unfortunately if you know me very well you have heard me say "I hate holiday/Christmas - etc..."  Yes I hate to admit - I have used the word hate.

That is most likely misunderstood.  I feel quite sure when someone hears me say that they do not realize that the part I hate is really not a part at all - it is the lack of parts...

I simply cannot get all the parts to work together.  You would think since I have been married since 1986 I would have come up with some traditions for Kerry & Cheryl and traditions that we could share with our children and their children. (Oh do you know that Son One will have Grandchild One in January?)

We have traditions....

***Getting to unwrap a gift on Christmas eve - it was always pajamas - something that looked good - something to wear to bed that night so that on Christmas morning the pictures looked good!  

***My mom started giving socks at Christmas many, many years ago - and it became the tradition for Christmas with DJ & Grandad.

I think the mixed up part for me is that I really don't do anything like I used to do and I have allowed it to all get lost.  When I was growing up we always went to my Grandma's and my mom's family.  On Christmas Eve would we go to my Aunt Joyce's house and everyone in my Grandma's family would be there.  For many years we would spend the night in Collinsville and I would spend Christmas morning with my cousin.  What a gracious family to allow the cousin to spend that family time with them.  I feel quite sure I  never said thank you enough to my aunt & uncle.  

***Tradition - spending Christmas Eve with Bobette and her family. 

Somewhere along the way we stopped spending Christmas Eve and we would drive back to Perrin and then the next morning get up early and go back to Collinsville.  We would have Christmas Day lunch with my dad's family and Christmas Day evening with my mom's sisters and their families.

***Tradition - Christmas in the Dallas area with Aunt Mary, Aunt Catherine, and Aunt Gloria's families.  A different family would host each year - we still try to have these times together but now we have the Adams family Christmas in December on a Saturday or Sunday.  Most of the family still live in the Dallas area.

The grandchildren and great grandchildren of Fred & Ethel Cannon have not continued the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day tradition - and I completely understand that!  We each have our families and the traditions those bring when we married.  My dad and his younger sister Helen are the two children who remain.  It has been years since we have been to Collinsville for Christmas - and that's okay - it is all part of how life goes on.

So now we look to the traditions we have established for Cheryl and Kerry.  We still do the pajamas - although as time goes on I am sure those might have to be mailed or opened much earlier - or opened on Christmas Day but I hope our boys realize that they will always be able to count on pajamas at Christmas.  And I will always continue the sock at Christmas tradition too. 

Since I love to cook I have tried to start a Christmas breakfast tradition of sorts.  That is pretty fun and I enjoy cooking.  My parents and Kerry's parents too usually join us for that breakfast.

***Christmas morning breakfast - the menu usually includes potato casserole, waffles, bacon, fried chicken and scrambled eggs.

I don't really hate Christmas - I stress over all the parts and the fact that those parts move and move.  I completely understand families and not being able to keep all of my parts the same as they always have been - that is easy - the parts look completely different for me - almost every year.  After that breakfast at my house we now go to Pap's.  We have been doing that maybe even since Kerry and I married and only missed probably one time - the first Christmas when we only had Christmas day and could not travel 4 hours to get home - we came on the weekend instead.  Anyway - we go to Kerry's Dad's Dad's house for Christmas Day lunch (known as Pap).

***I LOVE Christmas at Pap's (this picture was taken on his 90th birthday last May)

Maybe Pap's Christmas is the best for me now because it is the generation that is still with us.  I  miss that Christmas with my grandma but I am so thankful we still have a part of that generation with us.

One day Kerry and I will be moving up in that generation ladder.  Perhaps it is time for me to embrace Christmas - create traditions that my grandchildren can write about some day - 

Of course it will forever include food!  

Maybe that is what I have been missing - 

Just embrace the gathering together - 

Worry about the decorating when I can - 

Keep those traditions that we enjoy - 

Pajamas - Socks - Breakfast - and just time to see each other.

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembering East Texas

This time of year I often think about our time of living in East Texas.


On our way to church in Mt. Pleasant there was this really tall tree (not like I see around here) and when it changed colors - the red was absolutely beautiful.  I would always say that I wanted a picture so I could remember that tree.  I never took one - Kerry mentioned that the memory in my heart might just be enough.

He was right.

I have those same colors in my back yard now.

Soon it will be a backyard with a patio.  I simply cannot wait!  I am learning a lesson in patience - which  I did not particularly ask for!  I was hoping our patio would be finished by October 1st.  Then I was hoping we would start by October 1st.  So November 1st was a bit soon - but we are on our way now!!!

I simply cannot wait! (Son Two is sitting on the steps and Kerry and I are on the right - I am in the pink shirt....)

Our time in East Texas was so very short.  I taught school in Gilmer and Kerry worked in Mt. Pleasant for Pilgrim's.  Our best friends in ET were Tom & Dixie and The Whites.  We have done a horrible job of keeping in touch - although with the connections with Facebook at least we have some contact.  

We learned about love in East Texas too.

We learned that it is about opening our hearts to new ways of worship and loving those who at first our different but in the end are just the same.

Over on the prepare2prosper site I mention that I grew up thinking my way of worship and what I believed was really the only right way.  I even told Kerry that I thought those people at that church had it all wrong.  Well those people at that church taught me once again about love.

We had fun going to church with Tom & Dixie and listening to Pastor White preach.  So glad that I went to God's word to figure out the "right or wrong" and did not close my personal door to learning more about God's love in a different place than I had learned before.  I would have missed out.

Have I written about Micah Drew?  He is the oldest son of Pastor White & Sister Teresa.  He lives in heaven now.  But we remember him each spring - we call fireflies "Micah Drews".  If I have written about our "Micah Drews" before - I haven't found the link!  But I will either find and share or write for the first time..... very soon.

Living in East Texas - the best of memories.... (picture of Don & Teresa White - borrowed from Donesa White Walker - their oldest daughter).

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Do You Talk To Your Plants?

We love plants.

I am actually in my home as I write - I am going to count the house plants we have.  I guarantee I will not get the same number twice.

16 - 15 of those are in the main dining - kitchen - living area.

We also rescue plants.

This one Kerry rescued a couple of years ago - we weren't sure it would survive.  It only had a few leaves - oh how I love this ficus tree!

We also have plants that were gifts for milestones...

My mom & dad sent this one to me when I finally defended my dissertation! That was in October of 2011.  

And evidently we have plants with a mind of their own.  In the photo below notice how the one on the upstairs landing has decided to come toward the light (oh there's a blog for another day...) and is crawling around the deer.  The plant on the right of this picture is a cactus of some sort.  A person I worked with several years ago had several of these and they are easy to share.  In fact I have at least 3 pots with this plant and I think a couple more outside.  They are quite easy to grow - would you like one?

There's another one of the cactus plants with a football decoration.  The plant in the background I don't so much remember the history behind that one but this one in the tall pot - it is from the services for Kerry's grandmother.  That was in April of 2007.

From The Codys when I finished that doctorate!

This final one from our landing the closest plant is the one that is growing toward the light - in the far left background is the ficus tree - on the shelving with the TV is a plant from Uncle Mike for Corey's senior year in football (2010) - then there's a palm tree just to the right of the wooden beam and just to the left of the top deer's nose is a plant from my dear friends who now live in Denison.  That plant was sent to Corey after his football injury (2010).  

Isaiah 61:11

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

You should read my other blog - prepare2prosper.org - more plant pictures with a history lesson too.

**** 16 - in the dining/kitchen/living area this time.

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

More than one....

There is more than one place to write!

I have another blog - it is a bit different - my goal is for it to be more devotional in nature - more specific about Biblical studies rather than whatever event in my life I want to share with you ....

Which lately has not been very many....

We are loving every moment of Graham Steer Football.  I wonder just how many times I have said that!!

I created a notebook for my dad to have to look through - primarily on Friday evenings when we are at football games.  My dad always called me his "favorite daughter".  Yes - of course - I am the only daughter.

My dad is doing well.  Sometimes I wonder how to answer the question "How's your dad?"  My dad is different but yet he is the same - he is sick but yet he is well - he is human but yet he receives God's grace.  And that last part is the part I remember EVERY time I see him.  He never shows unhappiness even though I know that if he completely could verbalize his living arrangements he would not be very happy with me, he is physically doing just fine and holding his own, and every day he shows and voices his love for Jesus.  I simply cannot ask for anything more.  He is a living example of God's Grace.

Me & my dad taken rather recently....

While it is busy - it is also so much fun to have teenagers in our home.  Spaghetti Lunch on Fridays has become the best time.  

Nephew Three (far right) with Grandson in the middle.
I think he is LOVING being with the Graham Steers!

Would you like to follow my "other blog"? Here's the link...... Cheryl's Other Blog

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.