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Archive for December, 2008

Deck Them Halls and Other Botched Christmas Carols

When I heard Sophie singing Christmas songs, my Christmas was merry and my holiday bright.

She began with, “it’s the most won-DER-ful time OFFFFF the YEAR!”  Then followed with, “Jingle bells, jingle bells, oh-be oh-be oh-be oh-be….”

But when Mom called to share my nephew, Jessie’s, rendition of Deck The Halls, I was certain “’tis the season to be jolly”.

Until her attempts to correct him in between laughter, he decked his halls as follows:

“Deck the halls with fallen jollies, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la….”

I think that beats the popular version of  “deck the halls with balls of holly”.

Don’t you just love botched Christmas carols?  I think one of the reasons I love Peanuts so much is that they capture the raw essence of children.

I love when Sally says, “deck them halls and all that stuff”.  I love that after much rehearsing, she still manages to replace her one word line of “HARK” as the Angel in the Christmas play with “hockey sticks“. 

And not that it’s a Christmas carol, but who doesn’t love when Peppermint Patty’s fears come true when she botches up “baaaaa” as the sheep in the play?  Wasn’t it enough that she was humiliated when Marcy was chosen to be Mary?  “Mary never wore glasses!”  First, she trips over her own feet while donning her sheep costume, and later manages to the stage to sound, “WOOF!  MEOW!  MOO!  Whatever…”

And I love Sally’s insistence that “Harold Angel” would enter the stage at the end of the play because “it’s right here in the script.”  Imagine Charlie Brown’s surprise when the doorbell rings and he finds Harold Angel has come to see Sally.

What about you?  I’d love to hear your stories of botched Christmas carols sung throughout your homes.  So leave a comment.  Make my New Year happy! 🙂

Happy New Year!



Awesome Video

Check out this amazing video at The Preacher’s Wife.

I’ve never seen anything like this. 



Merry Christmas!


Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008

For unto you… A Savior is born, which is Christ the Lord.

Merry Christmas!
Joe, Rena, Cammie, Courtney & Sophie
That inscription would be what you can’t read on our Christmas card that I wanted to share with you.  And since you probably can’t see the pictures either, I’ll share a bit about them as well.  I was late getting this out this year.  I had a hard time choosing pictures since Cammie wasn’t home.  I decided to add a picture from her  Basic Training Graduation.  Out of all of the pictures I took on our trip, I had none of Cammie by herself.  None!  At least one person was always snuggled next to her.  And most of the time that one person was Sophie.  Being the Mom that I am, I “had” to choose a picture of me, Courtney and Sophie to go with the one of me, Cammie and Sophie.  As if this wasn’t enough, I could not find a recent picture of Joe that would work.  Even after his 40th birthday.  Clearly, we have problems in the photo department.  Nothing would work.  Nothing.  We really wanted the picture of Courntey and Sophie (overjoyed, of course…can’t you tell?) with Santa.  After much grief and anguish, we decided we would have to leave Joe out of the photos.  If that isn’t enough excitement for you, we do have a couple of unknown people from Graduation for you to view.  Because nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a few random strangers lurking around your Christmas card.  Glad I could make you smile.  Or at least grin.  Or not?
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Season!  It’s late, I’m tired.  I just finished wrapping the gifts from the fat man in the red suit.  I’m thinking he needs more elves or something ’cause that’s a lot of work.  And just for the record, I stink at this “Santa Stuff”.  Sophie was throwing in the towel on the pottying the last couple of days.  I told her, “you better stop pottying in your pants ’cause Santa won’t bring you any presents.”
“YESSSS he will,” she declared with the sarcasm of a fifteen-year-old.  With that, I turned around and walked out of the bathroom.  And then I wrapped up his presents tonight…  She got me.
Merry Christmas!
Happy Birthday, Jesus!








This is what’s slowed me down today and kept me from doing some of those last minute things that STILL aren’t done.  Oh, the Lord works in mysterious ways.  We DID need some rest.
Not happy!

Not happy!


That would be the look of a toddler with a bit of a stomach bug and an old man’s limp due to a scraped knee.  The child literally limped around, holding her knee after she scraped it.  This after half a day in the bed.  Just when I thought she was ready to bounce back, her injury knocked her back down.  This is serious stuff, people!  Pottying is a challenge!  She wants NOTHING to touch her boo-boo except her Hello Kitty bandaid.  NOTHING else… you try taking her to the potty.  Oh…that would be the Courtney in the background…texting.  What else would she be doing? 😉

And now at the risk of having my husband cringe, I’m going to share…



… the reason that I “should” be limping around and laid up in bed.  No, no, no!  Not the desperate need for a pedicure…not that!  The ginormous bruise!  With an interesting story…  So, I’m standing on my bathroom counter unscrewing the globes from my lighting fixture to clean them.  This was late one evening last week after a long day of cleaning my house.  The Cox guys were here fixing my landline.  AGAIN!  This time, there were two of them.  One was in the attic entrance in my closet.  He asked me a question.  I practically jumped off of the counter so that I could hear him better.  I landed on this:


Beauty has a price!

Beauty has a price!

What are the odds?  I landed on one of the handles of this tray.  And NOTHING broke!  But I’m left with that nasty bruise on my foot.  And yes it HURT!  But it looks much worse than it feels now.  In hindsight, I’m thinking I should’ve milked this all along.  I could’ve been limping around like Sophie, moaning and whining and making faces and no one would’ve blamed me.  Oh, the beauty of hindsight.
Random driving pic

Random driving pic

And there’s some more randomness for ya’!  Cammie had a bit of difficulty settling back into driving after three plus months.  She drove like a Paw-Paw!
Okay…I’m through rambling.  Sophie just tried to get off of my bed and fell into her throw-up bucket while holding her knee.  Where’s the camera when you need it?  Oh, there wasn’t any throw up in the bucket, of course.  In case you were wondering…  Aren’t you glad you tuned in today?

The Daily Mercies: She’s Home!



Click the above link for details…


No words are needed…






Big sister is back!

Big sister is back!


Dream on!

Dream on!


…and we’ll have to wait for more pics with Mom ’cause Mom was snapping pics and Joedaddy was filming.

I just have to add one funny note…  Cammie tried to call her Big Mama while she was waiting for her plane to take off.  Big Daddy had the cell at the camp.  He whispered, “hello?”  Apparently he didn’t know who she was and couldn’t take the time to find out.  “Can you call me back after dark,” he whispered from his tree stand.
I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to talk to her tomorrow… after he comes down from the tree stand.
Thanking Him that she’s home!
Merry Christmas!


If you have a story or testimony to share, click Mr. Linky below and add the link to your post (not your blog).  Join us on Sundays for more testimonies from The Daily Mercies.  Click here for more information on The Daily Mercies.  Don’t forget to leave a comment.  Thanks for sharing!


Santa’s Presents and Christ’s Presence

This Christmas will be the first that I will share the tradition of  Santa as a Mom.  First, because Sophie is now old enough to participate.  First, because Cammie and Courtney’s father and I made a decision to teach them that Santa was a fun but make-believe part of Christmas.  First, because this tradition is important to my husband and marriage includes compromise.

I thought I would struggle more with this concept.  I knew long before Sophie was concieved that Joe wanted Christmas for his child to include Santa.  And I had stronger convictions over another holiday largely due to a serious incident that happened to me when I was three.  But that’s another holiday, another post.  Perhaps I’ll share that next October.  The point is that we compromised.

I prayed a lot over this issue.  And I have peace regarding this decision.  However, I don’t want to lose sight of  the primary reasons we chose to exclude “Santa” from Cammie and Courtney.  One reason being that our children are taught to believe in these beings—Santa Clause, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy—and then one by one, they learn they are not real after all.  All the while we are teaching them to believe in Jesus, whom they cannot physically see.  The difference, however, is that we have genuine relationships with Jesus.  Introducing Him to Cammie and Courtney went beyond sight.  He needs no one to stand proxy for Him at the mall.  Hopefully His Presence in our lives will be undeniable to Sophie as well.  If not, something is indeed wrong.

Another concern was and still is the message of “getting” overshadowing the reality of what Christmas really is.  What about the kid down the road who can’t understand why he was denied that special gift that his friend and many others received?  But life is full of disappointments, right?  And the same thing can be said of birthdays.  Still, it makes my heart ache.

Over commercializing and the “gimme” mindsets have come and gone in my household throughout the years.  And Santa could not be blamed.  Every year do we not ask ourselves the same questions?  How do I keep the holiday stress from taking the joy out of Christmas?

The pressures are overwhelming.  We so want to give to our children and YES, teach them that giving is indeed the meaning behind the reason for this season.  The ultimate gift was sent from on High, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

After we were married, right away Joe and I decided to keep the girls’ gifts down to three as Jesus received three gifts from The Wise Men.  Of course, they needn’t look for such costly gifts fit for a King.  But then there are the stockings.  So was it really just three gifts?  Hmmm…

And my thoughts on Santa continued…he isn’t omnipresent!  God is!  He doesn’t “really” know their names.  He’s supposed to.  At least that’s how the story goes.  But you plop a kid on his lap and it’s the first thing he asks them.  Jesus knows their names.  And why does Santa  have to get credit for all of our hard work?  Oh, I could go on and on but the point is clearly not condemnation over Santa. 

Although the girls have made it clear what their expectations were for Sophie —”You ARE letting Sophie have Santa?”—they never appeared to be deprived or cheated.  And as far as I know, I never had to worry about them “spilling the goods” to their friends and classmates.  In fact, one of Courtney’s friends was quite angry when she found out the truth.  Mostly with her mother, but also with Courtney who remained silent as she knew it was not her place to tell her.  My sister, Jamie, found out the truth about The Easter Bunny when I was pregnant with Cammie.  She was seven.  She was not happy.  “Why’d you say there was a rabbit if there isn’t a rabbit?” she asked my Mom.  Most of all, she was perplexed.  This weighed in on me as a woman with child.

So I was sure to share with my girls the Christmas story.  Yet, I faced a moment once again with a perplexed child.  Only this time, it was over the birthday Boy’s party.  We often made birthday cakes for Jesus and sang Happy Birthday.  One Christmas when Cammie was about three or four, she became quite upset when she realized that not only was the Guest of Honor not going to be present (at least not in the flesh), but neither were his friends.  “Where’s Moses?  Where’s all of His friends?”

And that’s what recently got me thinking.  Where IS the Guest of Honor in all of our celebrating?  Am I really including Him?  With our without Santa, I’ve been guilty of getting caught up in the hype.

So now, as I find myself treading new territory and reflect on the sad condition of our world and the lack in the body of Christ, I want more than ever to move beyond the reality of my circumstances to the truth.  This season will come and go.  I want to give.  I delight in giving my children gifts just as our Father delights in giving us His Kingdom.  But if I neglect to share Him, it is all for naught.  If I allow stress over the presents, I just might miss His Presence.

This Christmas I’ll step aside and allow the fat man in the red suit to take credit for granting the heart’s desires of my child.

But the main  “Presence” I want to share… is Christ’s.



I won’t be expecting a Mother of the Year Award.

I’ve said it before. Sophie’s arrival changed everything.  She is a little firecracker to say the least.  I’ve gone from confident mother and Nanny to entertaining the notion of contacting Supernanny, JoJo.  This past Saturday, the ABC show accepted applications at Cortana Mall in Baton Rouge.

Oh, people, I’m not that desperate!  Well…at least, not yet.  You decide…

One night last week Joe and I wrestled Sophie to give her nightly doses of Benadryl and vitamins.  Sometimes she runs away, kicks and twitches to keep from taking them.  Sometimes she is willing and even exclaims, “YUMMY!”

After we accomplished our mission, I sat the Benadryl on the kitchen counter so that I wouldn’t forget to pack it for my Mom’s house the next day.  I then went into Sophie’s room to pack her clothes.  I didn’t get far before I remembered that I needed to call Mom.  So I went to my bedroom to get my phone.

How I walked past her without noticing is beyond me… “MOMMY, look,” she boldly asked.

So I did.  There she was.  Holding the Benadryl bottle in one hand, the cap in the other.  With a bit of pink already dripping from her chin, she put the bottle to her mouth to take a swig.  For a Nannysecond, I stood shocked with my jaw dropped.

“NO, SOPHIE!   You NEVER, EVER get medicine by yourself!  That is dangerous!  NO, NO, NO!”

She still wanted to grin but I suspect my tone stopped her.  The bottle was still new, so I was confident she didn’t take much.  She normally takes her nightly dose a few drops at a time as Benadryl is a little strong.  We watched her closely.  We prayed.  She was fine.

And then… the other night Courtney, Sophie and I went to Walmart.  We were in the toy section surrounded by lots and lots of parents, several very excited children and an occassional employee.  Sophie asked to get in the back of the buggy.  This has been a new adventure for her.  So I let her.  She stood up many times.  I scolded her.  But not firm enough for the strong-willed child that she is.  I made an abrupt stop and the unthinkable happened…. she fell out.



I think I screamed rather loudly.  After she pointed exactly where it was hurting I checked for a knot.  There was a slight one.  We gathered quite the crowd.  But you know what?  Not one person came up to us to see if she was okay.  Granted, she should not have been allowed to get in the back of the buggy in the first place, let alone stand for even a Nannysecond.  Still, it saddens me to think of what we have become as a soceity.  We were gawked at.  Gasp.  Needless to say, I was embarrassed.  But more importantly, I was concerned about Sophie.

Long after we arrived home, my chest remained tight.  I finally stopped long enough to press through in prayer.  I had already prayed for her.  But I think I felt so horrible about what happened that I could not get peace.  Peace did come.  And Sophie was fine.

She is still climbing and challenging and demanding independence.  She wants to snap her own pants after pottying.  She wants to rinse her own hair.  Two year olds don’t usually pull those things off well.

I sometimes feel challenged on a minute by minute basis.  But this one thing I know:  she IS fearfully and wonderfully made.  Her creator gave her a tenacity that will serve Him well as she chooses.  And that is my prayer.  I will not question.  I will not second-guess.  I will continually remind myself to trust Him.  Not only with her, but with me.  He is well able to guide me.

II Peter 1:3 says, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.

ALL things have been given us pertaining to life AND godliness.  That includes wisdom for parenting.  In fact, for wisdom all we have to do is ask (see James 1:5).

I’ll continue to remind myself of these Scriptures at times when Sophie lets out single long shrills—like at The Bass Pro Shop while we’re waiting in line to see Santa.

Or when she arches her back, kicks her legs and screams while I’m putting her in a time out.

Or when her only response to “time for bed, Sophie” or “time for bath, Sophie” or “pick up your toys, Sophie” or a myriad of other commands is, “NO! I DON’T!  WANT TO!”

Except the the recent occasion when she added one additional prhase—when she refused to get up off the floor at the cool new Beef Jerky Outlet (“Cool”, IF you’re Joedaddy!) adding this:

“I!  DON’T!  CARE!”

HEAVY sigh…

She doesn’t care.

Thank God HE does!  And she will.  One day.  Until then, hope you’re all feeling like great parents! 😉