Saturday, December 27, 2008

After Christmas

The days after Christmas can sometimes be kind of a let-down after so much activity. I especially feel this on the years when Daniel leaves to go to his dad's house on Christmas afternoon through New Year's Day afternoon. But, I have decided to make a conscious effort to "choose joy" and to look for ways to spend the time doing things that make me happy.

Here are some of the things I like to do over the Christmas holidays, after the gifts are opened and the hubbub has died down:

  • Sit in the living room by the Christmas tree and read a Christmas novel. Right now, I'm reading A Christmas Visitor, one of the Cape Light Christmas books by Thomas Kinkade and Catherine Spencer. Some of my other favorites are: Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon, Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn, The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
  • Add new Christmas pictures to my scrapbook (that usually doesn't happen until later in January)
  • Play board games with my family (some of our faves are Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Mexican Train Dominoes, Phase 10, Uno)
  • Go back through Christmas cards that we received (and go read the Christmas cards/letters that my parents received at their house from long-time family friends)

What are some of your favorite things to do over the Christmas holidays? What books do you like to read at this time of year? If your family likes to play games, what are your tried-and-true favorites? What are some ways that you choose joy at this time of year?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Advent: Day Twenty-five

Merry Christmas! The ornament for today is a nativity scene, symbolizing the birth of Jesus. This morning, Daniel and I shared the Jesse Tree devotion with our family as we sat in our living room around our Christmas tree. Daniel read the story of Jesus' birth from Luke 2 and then I shared the devotional message and prayer. It was a special time for our family to celebrate Jesus' birth and to think about the true reason that we have a holiday on December 25th.

I am glad that I chose to do the Advent Jesse Tree on my blog this year and I appreciate the encouragement I received from those who made comments. I hope that your Advent experience this year has brought you closer to the One who's birth we celebrate. May none of us be the same because of our encounter with the Prince of Peace!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Advent: Day Twenty-four

The twenty-fourth ornament is an angel, which symbolizes the angels that proclaimed the coming of Christ. An angel is a messenger and usually is sent to tell good news. The angels that proclaimed the coming of Christ got the best job angels could get. They got to tell the best news of all time: Christ is born!

But their job didn't stop there, or maybe it was just a benefit they received from doing their job well. After they told the good news that Christ was born, they broke out in praises to God, saying,

"Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to men on

whom his favor rests."

Luke 2:14

Thankfully, although the shepherds were the first to hear the good news, God has allowed all of us to hear it as well. We can also sing praises to God for this wonderful gift of His son, Jesus Christ.

Christmas Eve Gift!!!!

There is a Ryals family tradition that on Christmas Eve, if you're the first person to say "Christmas Eve Gift" to someone, that person is supposed to give you a gift on Christmas Eve. I asked my dad where it started, but he jokingly said, "In the old country", which basically means he doesn't know. :-)

I can remember doing this from way back when I was a little girl, but I can't remember anyone actually following through on the gift. The main thing is that we all just try and be the first person to say it. My Uncle Randel gets really into it and even calls one of his brothers right after midnight on December 24th to try and say it first. My parents, and maybe my sister, are known to answer the phone saying "Christmas Eve Gift" on December 24th. Of course, with Caller ID, I can know who's calling and make sure I don't say it to someone who doesn't know what's going on. This morning, I sent a text to my sister that said, "Christmas Eve Gift!!!" Let's see if that gets to count!

My mom did start letting us open one present on Christmas Eve when we were little girls, though. I think that we probably were being relentless with our asking to open gifts that night instead of waiting for Christmas morning, which has been our family's tradition. So, Mom began getting us new Christmas nightgowns (or pj's) each year and would let us open those on Christmas Eve. The neat thing about that, besides giving us something to open early, is that we would wear them to bed and then would have Christmas attire on for opening the presents on Christmas morning (and she wasn't even a scrapbooker--ha!). We loved this tradition and it was carried on with us until we were out of college. When Daniel was born, I continued the tradition with him, and I'm sure that Jeanette will do it with Erica in years to come.

Christmas Eve Gift!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Advent: Day Twenty-three

Today's ornament is a candle, symbolizing The Light of the World. When the time had come for the prophecies to finally be revealed, an angel of the Lord came to Mary and told her that she would conceive, and bear a son, and would call his name, "Immanuel," which means, "God with us." She eagerly awaited the Light of the world, as did Simeon, who when seeing the baby Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem said,

"For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Isreal" (Luke 2:30-32)

Jesus came to be our Light and as His followers, we are to be a light shining for others to see Christ. That's not always easy and I definitely don't shine very brightly sometimes. But, thankfully, with His help and by His grace, we can shine and He does illuminate the darkness!

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12).

Advent: Day Twenty-two

The ornament for Day Twenty-two is a star, which is one of my favorite Christmas symbols. The story of the Wise Men following the star to Bethlehem is found in Matthew 2:1-12. The devotional book tells that the five-pointed star is called the Ephiphany Star, symbolizing the body of Jesus Christ. The five points represent His hands and feet that were nailed to the Cross and His head with the crown of thorns (p. 85).

May we all, like the Wise Men who searched for the baby Jesus, be willing to seek Jesus and follow Him as Lord of our lives.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Advent: Day Twenty-one

OK, I'm so tired after doing way too much today, but I'm only five days away from completing this little project, so I can do it! :-)
Actually, I got fresh motivation tonight after Daniel and I read the devotion together. Today's ornament is a brick wall, symbolizing wall of Jerusalem that was rebuilt when the people of Isreal returned to their land from exile. The last paragraph from the book says,

"After the prophecy found in Malachi 3:1, there was silence from
the prophets for 400 years. The people waited for the Messenger of the New
Covenant to come. This is also quoted in Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2; Luke 1:76,
7:27. This prophecy was fulfilled in John the Baptist as the herald of Christ's
first coming." (p. 80)

I had to ask Daniel to reread that last sentence because my brain was working in slow-mo, but once he did, I was once-again amazed at God's timing. Just today at our church, the pastor preached about John the Baptist and how he was born with the purpose of preparing the way for Jesus. Scott encouraged us to look at John's life as an example of one who had "the expulsive power of a new affection for Christ." John the Baptist knew that he had to decrease and that Christ would increase. God had let John the Baptist see that Jesus was the Messiah. John the Baptist found joy in telling others that a greater one than he was coming: Jesus Christ.

I'm so thankful to God for giving us not one, but two lessons about John the Baptist today, and for the reminder that when we humble ourselves before Him, He will give us mercy, which generates love, which generates self-forgetfulness.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Advent: Day Twenty

The ornament of a fiery furnace represents The Exile in Babylon. In God's sovereignty, He took a remant of the tribe of Judah into captivity to preserve the lineage of His people. Through this remnant, Christ, our Supreme Judge, would come. (p.77)

The book of Daniel tells some of the stories from the years of exile in Babylon. Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were ordered to do things that went against their upbringing. They all showed great courage and faith when they stayed true to the Lord God instead of eating a constant diet of rich food and drink, bowing to idols, and praying when it was ruled illegal. Those are the kind of young men that I want my son, Daniel, and his friends, to see as role models. There are so many things in our culture that are similar to the culture in ancient Babylon. I pray that our guys will remain true to the One True God.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Advent: Day Nineteen

Today's devotional reading is about the Prophecy of Bethlehem. The prophet, Micah foretold that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, which was the City of David. Micah 5:2-4 was the passage that the chief priests and scribes quoted to King Herod when he demanded to know where the Christ Child would be born (Matt. 2:4-6). How amazing that this small town of Bethlehem was the birthplace of the King of Kings!

O little town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie!

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep

The silent stars go by;

Yet in thy dark streets shineth

The everlasting Light;

The hopes and fears of all the years

Are met in thee tonight.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Advent: Day Eighteen

We're one week away from Christmas Day! Can you believe it? Does that thought stress you out? I hope not, but if it does, just take some deep breaths, maybe get a cup of tea, and sit down to focus for a few minutes on what it's really all about. I have to listen to my own advice, too, so don't think I'm preaching to you. I've had a whole lot of fun doing these posts this month, but tonight when I thought about all of the other stuff I needed to do, I thought about skipping this. Thankfully, I changed my mind because this is one of my favorite ornaments.

The heart with writing on it symbolizes the Prophecy of the New Covenant. The key passage comes from Jeremiah 31:31-34:

"The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isreal and with the house of Judah.

It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD.

"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Isreal after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest."

Another verse that speaks to this is from Ezekiel 36:26-27

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."

What an incredible gift of grace that God has given us: a new heart and His Word written on our hearts! Thank you, God, for not giving up on your people and for this New Covenant fulfilled in Christ.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Advent: Day Seventeen

The ornament for Day Seventeen is a cross to depict the Prophecy of the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53). For a long time, I liked keeping Christmas and Easter separate in my mind. It was hard for me (and still is sometimes) to mix the thoughts of Jesus in the manger and on the cross. But, as my faith has grown and my understanding of how the whole story is a purposeful progression, God has given me new perspective. Without the cross, there would be no Christmas. Without Calvary, there would be no cause to celebrate the manger at Bethlehem (p. 67). Thank you, God, for sending Your Son to die on the cross to save us from our sins.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Advent: Day Sixteen

Daniel and I have again enjoyed doing the Advent devotions this year, and I have been encouraging him to lead us in our time together. Tonight, I asked him to be a "guest blogger," and here's what he wrote:

Our devotion tonight was about shepherds and lost sheep. In Psalm 23, the Psalm of David, it also talks about and explains about how we are God’s sheep and he is our shepherd. He watches over us like when the angels came down to the shepherds when Jesus was born. This was a good devotion for tonight because it can be hard to not feel lost with exams going on before the holidays, but that will all change soon since it’s almost His birthday after all.

Thanks, Daniel!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Advent: Day Fifteen

The ornament for today is a dove and a crown to symbolize the Prophecy of the Prince of Peace. One of my favorite names for Jesus is "Prince of Peace" and I am increasingly thankful that I can rest in Him during all the different seasons of my life. Right now, I have friends who are going through marital problems, cancer treatments, financial troubles, illnesses, etc. My prayer for each of them is for them to experience God's peace in the midst of their struggles. Thank you, Jesus, that you are not only our King of Glory, but our Prince of Peace as well (a line from the song, "Hold Me, Jesus").

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27 (NIV)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Advent: Day Fourteen

Today's ornament represents the Prophecy of the Lion and Lamb Resting Together, found in Isaiah 11:6-10. The devotional passage for adults in the book also highlighted passages from Matthew 25:31-46, Revelation 21:1-7, and Phillippians 2:9-11. As we read the scriptures tonight, the verses from Philippians especially reminded me of the song, "Oh Holy Night," which we sang in our Christmas Worship services at Grace this weekend.

"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."
Phil. 2:9-11

Fall on your knees . . . behold your King . . . before Him lowly bend . . . Christ is the Lord, oh praise His name forever, His power and glory evermore proclaim!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Advent: Day Thirteen

Today's ornament symbolizes the prophecy of a shoot from the stump of Jesse (and is where the title of the devotion book comes from). Isaiah 11:1-5 says,

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

The Isrealites were sinful and God had to cut them off for a time. But He sent the prophet Isaiah to bring them a message of hope: from their brokenness would shoot forth a New Branch. Christ would be firmly established in righteousness and justice. Through the family tree of Jesse and David, Jesus, the "Anointed One" (Messiah) would come. (p. 55)

As I am writing this, I'm listening to Avalon sing "We Are the Reason," originally made popular by David Meece years ago. What better backdrop to look at Christmas, than to remember that we are the reason God sent His Son, and that He came to give us righteousness and peace and salvation. Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful gift!

Advent: Day Twelve

The ornament for today is a Bible (or some sets of ornaments might have a scroll). The scripture passage is from 2 Kings 22-23, when King Josiah and his men found the sacred copy of the book of the Law while rebuilding the temple. King Josiah had the book of the Law read to the people and a spiritual renewal took place. The people turned from their idols and began serving God. The devotion book points out that this was the last united religious act before God sent Judah into captivity (p. 52).

I personally can't imagine not having a Bible and don't think there has ever been a time in my life when I didn't have one in my home. The first Bible I remember owning was a Children's Living Bible, given to me by my parents, and I took it to Sunday School and church with me. I also received a Bible when I was baptized, and those two copies of the Word stayed in my possesion for a long time. I think we still have the Children's Living Bible at my house now (when I took a minute to look over on the shelf to find it, I saw another one of my first Bibles, one with a white cover that predated the other two). So, to think about the story of the uncovering of the old scroll and the reading of it to the people after so long without is mind-boggling. Something even more hard to imagine is that there are countless people in the world today who have never seen or owned a copy of God's Word.

Thank you, Lord, for your Word, and for making it accessible to so many people. I pray that all who would be introduced to it would come to understand how vital Your Word is to their lives.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105

Friday, December 12, 2008

Advent: Day Eleven

I got a little behind this week, as I predicted, so I'll play catch up. The ornament for Day Eleven is a slingshot to symbolize the story of David's life. The shepherd boy who became king, and who God used to establish the royal family to which Jesus was born. May we all be men (and women) after God's own heart!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Advent: Day Ten

Well, our wheat ornament had a casualty this year, so we just have the top of the wheat, but it still works for now. The sheaf of wheat symbolizes the story of Ruth and Boaz, who became ancestors in the lineage of Jesus. This story is such a beautiful picture of faithfulness, obedience, provision and redemption, and I love to hear it and think about the acts of love and devotion shown by Ruth toward her mother-in-law, Naomi, and by Boaz toward Ruth. The devotional writer commented that Ruth's decision to leave her home country and surrender her life to a new faith and home with Naomi was "a deliberate choice of a heart that belonged first of all to Naomi and then to God. Ruth's love for Naomi melted into her love for Naomi's God." Boaz also made a deliberate choice to follow through with his responsibilities as kinsman-redeemer to Ruth. Boaz is symbolic of Jesus. He redeemed Ruth by marriage; Christ redeems us by His blood. (p. 46)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Advent: Day Nine

I love this ornament representing a bunch of grapes. It symbolizes the Land of Canaan, the Promised Land of Blessings. One of my favorite Bible passages is Psalm 103: 1-5:

Bless the Lord, O my soul,and all that is within me,bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
(English Standard Version)

Dear Lord, let us never take for granted the blessings you have given us. You have given us a home, food, clothes. You have given us a greater blessing, however. Just as You led the children into a land of blessings, lead us into the new life You give in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You for sending Him. Amen. (p. 42)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Advent: Day Eight

OK, I'm tired tonight and this is going to be a challenging week for me to post every day. I have been encouraged and motivated by those who have told me that they appreciate my effort, though, so I will keep trying. Just know I might need some grace this week.

Today's ornament is a tablet with ten numbers, representing Moses and the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-20; 32:15-18). I liked the prayer from the Advent Jesse Tree book today:

Lord, when the children of Isreal were slaves in a strange land, You sent them a leader, letting them know You are a God who cares about them. You gave them the Law to remind them of their sinfulness. We know our need for You. We fail every day. We confess these sins to You, and ask that by Your mercy You forgive us. Thank you for sending our Emancipator, Jesus, to free us from the bondage of sin. Thank You for sending Your Spirit to empower us to live a life for You. Amen (p. 40)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Advent: Day Seven

Today's ornament is Joseph's Coat of Many Colors. I have come to love the story of Joseph because it is such a great reminder of God's sovereignty and faithful provision. The whole story spans much of the last 13 chapters of Genesis (37-50) and takes Joseph from being a bragging, spoiled teenager, to a powerful, respected leader who ends up showing grace to his brothers and being who God used to save the nation of Isreal.

It's mind-boggling to think that the circumstances that Joseph had to endure (being sold into slavery, being wrongly accused and thrown into jail) were God's sovereign plan to get the Isrealites to Egypt so that they could be delivered generations later. But, in God's great plan, He allowed all these things to happen, and many other circumstances in our own lives, to bring glory to Himself and bring us to a deeper and stronger faith.

What I am completely amazed about (but not surprised) today is how this day's devotion and the sermon, "From Fear to Faith", about the Isrealites crossing the Red Sea (from Exodus 14), all came together to bring home this reminder about God's sovereignty and faithfulness.

God is so good and I just want to keep on walking on this journey with Him!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Advent: Day Six

Today's ornament is a ladder, representing the story of Jacob's dream of a ladder reaching from earth to heaven. The story is found in Genesis 27:41-28:22 and is about when Jacob left his home to go live with his uncle, Laban, because his brother, Esau, was out to kill him. Jacob was all alone, running from danger, and I would imagine, wasn't feeling to good about himself. In his dream, God was a the top of the ladder and Jacob was at the bottom. "The ladder was a symbol that Jacob was not far from the arms of God." (p.32)

Sometimes, I feel like Jacob. I feel alone (even in a crowd), overwhelmed, and basically, weak. I don't like that feeling and try everything I can think of to get out from under it. Today was that kind of day. I had lots of things I was trying to do and was coming up short in the strength department. But, thankfully, God reminded me that His grace is sufficient for me, and that His power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Cor. 12: 9). I am so thankful that in God's great love and tenderness towards Jacob, me and everyone, He gave us Jesus to bridge the gap between heaven and earth, strong and weak, Holy One and sinners.

Glorious Impossible

My friend, Wendy Wills, a songwriter who goes to my church, wrote this song, "The Glorious Impossible." It has gotten much attention across the country and I love this animation that was done using it (done at Prestonwood Baptist Church in the Dallas, TX, area). Check it out and I hope it will give you a little bit of personal worship of the Glorious Impossible!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Advent: Day Five

The symbol for Day Five is a lamb and the story is told from Genesis 22 about Abraham taking Isaac to sacrifice him as an act of faith and obedience. God provided a ram as a subsitute so that Isaac did not have to die. This was a foretelling of what God would provide as a subsitute for us: His Son, Jesus.

I love the name for God that comes from this passage: Jehovah-Jirah, which means, "The Lord will provide." This has come to have such personal meaning for me as I have seen God's provision in my life. I am so thankful to God for providing the Lamb that took away my sins and for providing the Holy Spirit to dwell with me and guide me as I live my life.

"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29b

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Advent: Day Four

This ornament symbolizes God's call to Abram, who later was renamed, "Abraham", which means, "Father of many nations." God called Abram to be a part of a larger plan, a group of people through whom others will be blessed.

The other day, my friend shared a devotion that she'd read and the thing that stuck out to me from what she shared was that when we grow in holiness and serve God in obedience and faith, we are the last ones who know we are being a blessing to others. In other words, if we are seeking the glory, we are not giving glory to the One who really deserves it.

I like this prayer from the Advent Jesse Tree book. May it be the prayer of my heart as I continue to be grown and sanctified by the One who calls me.

Prayer: You come to us in this Advent time, Yahweh, as You came to Abraham many years ago. You come to us with that same call--to be a people through whom others will be blessed. We pray that we will have that same faith to obey You in all things. Open our lives to live out Your calling. Come, Emmanuel, come. Amen. (p.26)

Advent: Day Three

In Genesis chapters 5 through 9, the story is told of how evil the people on earth became and how God spoke to a man named Noah, and told him to build an ark, which would save Noah and his family and a sampling of every animal, when God flooded the earth. The author of the Advent Jesse Tree pointed out that "the ark was Noah's salvation just as Jesus is our ark. In Him alone can we be saved." After the rain stopped and the land dried up, God gave Noah and his family a rainbow to symbolize His covenant with them and his promise to never bring such a flood on the earth again. The devotion author said, "Promises are made by God and are eternal. They are always full of grace." The rainbow was a sign of redemption and still reminds us of God's promises today.

In September of 1989, when I was just out of college and had moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, on a short-term missions assignment (I know, "suffering for Jesus" in Hawaii), I had taken a huge step of faith and had left all of my comforts: family, friends, boyfriend, familiar surroundings. I remember flying into Honolulu and getting ready to meet the people I was going to work with there. I was nervous and kind of apprehensive about what I'd signed up to do. After I had met up with my coworkers at the airport and we were driving to where I would live, I looked up in the sky and saw a double rainbow! To me, it was God's assurance that He was with me and that things were going to be OK there. I won't lie and tell you that my entire three months there was wonderful. It actually was a hard time of soul-searching, disappointment and homesickness. But, God was with me there, just as He promised.

I'm so thankful that God keeps His promises and that He had a plan to save me and all of us from our sinfulness. I'm thankful for His reminders to us of His faithfulness and that we can remember these things as we prepare for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advent: Day Two

Not long after God created the earth, the first sin happened. We read in chapter 3 of Genesis about how Eve and Adam fell into sin. What struck me tonight as Daniel and I were reading the devotion, was that in Genesis 3:15, there is the promise of redemption for the sins of all of us. Even in the story of the first sin, we can see the promise of a Savior to come, foretelling the sufferings of Christ and the final victory over His enemy Satan! (p. 19) That is definitely reason to celebrate the birth of Christ!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Advent: Day One

Happy December! In our house, the first day of December signals the first day of our Advent devotions, using the devotional book, The Advent Jesse Tree, by Dean Meador Lambert. We were introduced to it probably in 2000 or 2001 by some women at church, who organized an ornament swap to create a set of 25 ornaments to go along with the book. If you go to Grace, you probably have a set of these or have at least heard about it. I think I saw signs of the ornament swap happening this year, which is great, since there are so many new families coming to our church.

This year, I had an idea that I might blog about each day and sometimes share some thoughts of my own about these ornaments and the scriptures from that day. Now, given my recent bout with procrastination, and my busy schedule, that idea might prove to be a dream, rather than reality, but we'll see how it goes. Also, I'd love to hear how others have used this book and ornaments and any stories you have from those experiences.

Day One: The Light of Creation. The year I participated in the ornament swap to get our set (I've done it a couple of other times to get sets to give as gifts), this was how the ornament was done. The symbol of the world coincides with the key verse for the day: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Gen.1:1)" I think it's very appropriate to start at the very beginning when thinking about the Christmas story. After all, Jesus was there with God when the world was created (John 1:1-4). And how awesome to think that because Jesus is our Light, there is light in the world and we can know Him and love Him and praise Him! (p. 14).

Thank you, God, for creating the world and everything in it. Thank you for sending Jesus to be the Light of the World and to bring us from darkness into the light! Amen.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Yep, I'll admit it. I'm a procrastinator! I've had a list of things to do while I am off work this week and I'm down to some less fun stuff and I don't want to do it! I'm pretty sure that if I'd just go do them, it wouldn't take as long as the time I've spent putting them off.

Here's what I need to do:
  • Put the deck furniture into the shed for the winter
  • Take comforters to laundromat to get them all clean for the winter months (although Mom just told me about a nice, newer place that I'm going to try out this time, so maybe it won't be so bad if I bring a book)
  • Paint the mailbox and put new numbers on it (that's really a project I wanted to do with Daniel, but he's not here today)
  • File papers and shred old papers (I think I'll keep on procrastinating that one--ha!)

Here's the bad part . . . I also procrastinate doing things I like to do, namely scrapbooking and making cards. Why do I do that???? One reason is because I think that if I use a chunk of time to scrapbook and/or make cards, I will feel guilty if the other stuff isn't done yet, so I just put it all off. Crazy, I know.

OK, I'm getting off the computer now and am going to go tackle that list! Then maybe I can scrapbook with a less-guilty conscience. :-)


I must have just needed some accountability, because I got really industrious after I posted yesterday. First, I got outside and put away the deck furniture, to the rousing chorus of the neighbor's dog, who just can't seem to get it into her thick skull that I live here and that is my shed I go into. Probably would have been pretty entertaining for anyone who happened upon a woman carrying deck chairs into the shed while yelling "Shut up, already!" to a dog on the other side of the fence.

I got all the new bedding for Daniel's bed washed, including going to the laundromat this morning. I did bring something to read, which was a good thing, since I don't understand much Spanish and that's all that was on the TVs in there. It was a clean place, though, which is what I wanted. I also need to say a big "Thank You" to my mom, who came and stayed with the comforters that were drying when I needed to go home to meet the delivery people from Mattress King. She's an awesome mom!

So, since I'm probably not going to get into painting the mailbox and I would really rather eat dirt than file and shred today, I'm going to be happy with 2 out of 4, especially since I did other things that weren't on my original list (I have this strange habit of adding to my list as I go and then it just looks as long as it was when it started). Maybe I can justify scrapbooking now!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Thoughts

One morning last week, I was reading Colossians 3:12-17 in The Message, and was struck by the phrase, "Cultivate thankfulness". In God's perfect ways, Daniel and I actually had time to sit down and eat breakfast together that morning, and I read him those passages, taking a minute to talk about what it means to cultivate thankfulness. That same morning in my email, I had a link to a blog that was about the same theme, even to the extent of mentioning the same passage in Colossians and cultivating thankfulness! God is so awesome!

Well, I wanted to share this blog with you, because the writer has been sharing some great exercises to help us cultivate thankfulness. I hope that this week will be a time of thankfulness for you, whatever your circumstances are, and that we can all take time to remember what God has done for us in Christ.

Daniel and I are going to take a quick trip to East Tennessee today to see some friends, but I'll look forward to any comments you have when I get back.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our funny family

Tonight our family had an impromptu dinner at Publix! It was Jeanette's idea and she invited us to come along to the holiday sampling night at our neighborhood Publix. Daniel and I wavered at first, but then we changed our minds and decided to join in the fun. When we got there, Jeanette and Russell were already there, along with Erica, who slept through most of it. We got in line for the "main meal": turkey, ham, dressing, spinach, sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes--all you can eat--on a small dessert plate. :-) Oh, and I forgot the dessert. Little tiny slivers (samples, mind you) of sweet potato pie or pumpkin pie (and also the other samples of cakes/pastries before you got to the "main meal" line.)

After we got our plates filled, we were standing around eating, and Jeanette said, "Since we're not going to be together on Thanksgiving, this is our Thanksgiving meal together!" I said we should all go around and say what we're thankful for. Like I said, we have a funny family.

Well, then we moved on to the produce section, where they had samples of veggies and dip and then apples and dip, followed by apple cider. We skipped the shrimp cocktail samples and "helped" Russell and Jeanette, who actually had some grocery shopping to do. There was more ham and some of those little cocktail weiners and sausage balls, then we got ice cream samples and egg nog down in the dairy foods. We finished out the night with a white chocolate pretzel and some cranberry 7-Up. Quite a smorgasboard!

Another funny thing was that we ran into some friends who were doing their weekly shopping. When we stopped to talk to Julie, she said that Wesley (her husband) had already reported to her that our whole family was out at Publix together for the holiday samples!

And before you wonder where Grandma and Grandpa were, they arrived just before the rest of us were leaving, so there actually were a few minutes that our whole family was at Publix together!

What a funny (and in my opinion, FUN) family we have! They're some of what I'm most thankful for at Thanksgiving and all year long!

Monday, November 17, 2008

You know you're NOT a teenager when . . .

. . . the guy on the radio has to explain to his listeners who the group Journey is!

I was listening to Wally on Total Axxess on WAY-FM tonight and happened to tune in just as he was feeling the need to explain that Journey was a band in the 70s and 80s blah, blah, blah. Let me tell you, it's not fun to suddenly realize that there has been a whole generation of kids born since that band was in its heydey! Yikes! My high school marching band had "Open Arms" in the repertoire for two seasons, for crying out loud! By the way, Wally was telling about Journey because the song "Don't Stop Believing" has become i-Tunes' most downloaded song of all pre-digital releases, or something like that. Blah, blah, blah. :-)

In other VERY exciting news . . . I just found out tonight that one of my bestest friends from college (and currently) is moving to the Nashville area with her family!!!!! Rhesa and her husband, Philip, and their girls, Rebekah and Rachel, are some dear friends who Daniel and I have enjoyed going to visit in KY. We've had some fun times out on the lake in their boat and we just all have a good time when we're together. Well, now we won't have to just get together once a year . . . they'll be so close! They don't know exactly where they'll land yet, but we can pray it's in the southern part of the Nashville area and that they will have a smooth transition to new housing, schools, church, etc. Yea!!!! I'm soooo excited!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You know you have a teenager when . . .

. . . you ask for his Christmas list and he texts it to you on your phone.

Me: Why can't you just write it down for me?

Him: I can just send it to everyone.

Me: Well, Grandma doesn't have texting on her plan, so please don't send it to her.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Word association quiz

What do you think of when you hear the word "Milwaukee" (as in Wisconsin)????

Brewers . . . breweries . . . Happy Days . . . Laverne & Shirley (and Lenny & Squiggy) . . . cold . . . snow.

Well, for most of my life, when I heard that word, I immediately associated it with some of my relatives on the Ryals side of the family. Uncle Dean, my dad's brother, moved there as a single man out of grad school, married his wife, Chris, and they raised five kids there (4 boys and a girl, with one of the boys and the girl being twins born on Christmas Day 1976). I can remember going to visit the Dean Ryals family at least twice during my growing up years. One time when I was probably three years old, it was Christmastime and there was a LOT of snow on the ground. I mainly remember seeing my mom fall off of a snow mobile and crying because I thought she was hurt (she wasn't and got up laughing). The other time was in August when I was twelve, and I remember going to the zoo and feeling so big because I could carry my one-year-old twin cousins (probably not at the same time) and do things to make them laugh. My uncle has now passed away, but Aunt Chris, and two of the "boys" are still in the Milwaukee area.

Fast-forward to June 2005, when I started my job at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Suddenly, I had a new association with Milwaukee, since that is where the "home office" for NMFN is located. Over the past three and a half years, I have had the opportunity to go to Milwaukee on business four times, and have been able to reconnect with my aunt and cousins while up there. This past week, during dinner with Aunt Chris, Keith and Dennis, my aunt brought out some yellowed, folded pages, that turned out to be a story I wrote when I was in third or fourth grade about a mom who gave birth to twins (a boy and a girl) on Chrismas Day. It just happened that I wrote the story for school in mid-December, and then Aunt Chris actually had twins, my cousins, Dennis and Cindy, on Christmas Day that year! My mom had sent the story to my aunt and she had kept it all of these years. We all had a laugh reading my story at the restaurant the other night.

I'd say being able to see Aunt Chris and my cousins after all these years is one of the best "perks" I've received from my job at NMFN! And next time I go to Milwaukee, I need to look for the famed "Bronze Fonz" statue my cousin told me about . . .

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Yesterday we celebrated my dad's 72nd birthday with lunch from Bar-b-Cutie and an ice cream cake (his special request). I love that my dad can live close to his two grandchildren, Daniel and Erica. I realize that we are blessed to be able to be living in the same city (even within two miles of each other) and that we all are happy about that! Our family spent many years living miles apart, so we don't take this for granted.

We took the traditional birthday pics (for our family, it's blowing out the candles and holding up the gifts after they're opened), but I also got some great shots of Dad, Jeanette and Erica. The blue and pink quilt has special meaning, because when Dad became a Grandpa for the first time, thirteen years ago, he brought this quilt back from his trip to Ridgecrest, NC, a favorite and memory-filled family vacation spot. Now, his new baby granddaughter can benefit from his gift. Only God knew back in 1995 that a quilt with both blue and pink squares would be appropriate for Dad's grandchildren!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Highlights from a great weekend

We didn't have any huge plans going into the weekend, but it was fun and relaxing and we got to spend some time with family and friends and just hang out together at home. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Visiting Erica during some "awake" time on Friday night and watching her play on her activity mat. She was six weeks old on Friday and is starting to smile and be aware of things around her.

  • Going to the Celebration of Cultures in Centennial Park with Daniel, Grandpa, Jeanette, Russell and Erica (Grandma was at a conference at her church and we missed her being with us).

  • Shopping and dinner with Daniel on Saturday night (white chocolate lava cake at Chili's is "to die for" and having Daniel actually let me play guitar while he played the drums on the Rock Band demo in the store was so fun!).

  • Today's experience of communion, along with the sermon from Exodus and the Gospel Transformation lesson this afternoon, were all evidences that God is at work in all things to grow me closer to Him.

  • Spending Sunday afternoon sitting out on the deck with a book while Daniel and his friend, Ryan, ran down the street yelling "Five and O, five and O, five and O" after the Titans beat the Ravens put a big smile on my face!

Well, nothing was really earth-shattering, but it added up to a good weekend for me and Daniel.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Is anyone out there????

Happy Fall, ya'll! I once got lovingly chastised for not posting for a month or something like that. Well, friends, I've been posting more frequently, but nobody's been commenting lately! I'm beginning to get a complex (not really, but it makes one wonder . . .)

So, since we crossed over into my favorite season of the year and it's almost October (yikes!) . . . let's be a little more conversational.

My turn first.

My favorite things about Fall are:

  • The cooler temps and less humidity
  • Changing colors of the leaves
  • Potted mums
  • Apple cider (OK, apples in general)
  • Hearing fallen leaves crunch under my feet
  • Hayrides

Now it's your turn. What do you like about the season of Fall?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A very funny sight

Oh, I wish I'd had my camera this morning, but I'll just have to try to give you a picture in words. Christina and I were headed to walk at Radnor Lake and were cutting through the Ellington Agricultural Center. We turned in just behind a guy on a motorcycle, WITH A DOG ON HIS LAP, both wearing a helmet! At least the guy was responsible and law-abiding! I've heard of doggie life-jackets for when they go out on a boat, so I guess a doggie motorcycle helmet is not so far-fetched.

I pointed them out to Christina and we both got a good laugh out of it. You never know what you'll see when you get out early on a Saturday morning! Too bad I didn't have my camera, because I could have had a great "Friday Foto" for my friend, Jay!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy One Month Birthday, Erica!

After one month of "life on the outside", Erica just keeps getting sweeter and cuter (and yes, I'm biased). She and her parents are continuing to bond together as a family and Erica has brought all of us in the family a lot of joy! Erica's main activities are still sleeping, eating, pooping, crying, sleeping again (as it should be at one month old).

Here are a couple of pics I took on Friday when we babysat. She's a good mixture of both of her parents, but in one pic, she looks like her mommy and in the other, she looks like her daddy (hahaha!)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Give me a break, are we back in the 70s??!!

This weekend, I was one of the many unfortunate Nashvillians who had to sit in lines to try to get some gas for my car! (These photos were taken on Sunday morning, when the lines were mild compared to what I saw at the same locaion on Saturday.) Notice I didn't say that I was one of the selfish clods who felt the need to "top off" their tank or fill up every glass jar and 5-gallon can from their shed or fill their boat gas tank. Give me a break!!!!!

Now, I admit, I was thinking about my own needs on Friday afternoon, Saturday morning and Sunday morning when I noticed that my gas tank was close to empty and I needed to get some gas or not use my car to go to the places we needed/wanted to go this weekend. I do not usually pay much attention to local news. If it's not in the one-minute blurb at the top of the hour on the music radio station I'm listening to, then I probably don't know about it.

So, I was taken by surprise by the lines I saw at the gas stations on the way to work on Friday. But, since I actually had to WORK on Friday and had a very busy day at the office, there was no way I could have waited for an hour or more during the day to fill up. Then on Saturday morning, after getting my "fuel report" from my wonderful parents who were out and about, I set out to get in line and wait my turn. I had waited about an hour at one station (with only 4 pumps) when they ran out of gas (I was about 6 or 8 cars away from the pump). I then tried to get into the madhouse at Kroger, but when they came around with signs saying that they estimated only having 30 more minutes of gas left, I decided to not waste what I had and went back home.

Thankfully, my parents are also very generous and offered the use of their car (with plenty of gas in the tank) for us to go to Daniel's baseball tryouts and the 5K at Belmont. Then this morning, I got up early and went back to Kroger to wait in line an hour to finally get a turn to fill my tank.

I definitely saw the irony in the fact that the place I tried to go twice during the weekend to buy gas ended up being where I finally got it. I also realized the futility of my worrying over it at various times during the weekend, and had to come to the point of confession and thankfulness when I realized that I didn't really miss out on any activities due to the gas shortage and never totally ran out of gas. Hopefully, we're out of the woods with the shortage now, but I think I'll start watching my gas gauge a little closer and might even listen to the news now and again (better still call me if something big is headed my way!).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Through the years

A fun time was had by all at the 90th birthday party for Mr. Lee Anderton! He was totally surprised to see 14 friends gathered for what he thought was going to be a small dinner with two families. We represented Lee's decades well, from Charlie Chaplin (Lee's birth year, 1918) to a Lee look-alike (2008)! After the delicious dinner, we realaxed in the den and shared facts and stories from the decades. As promised, here's a picture of me in my poodle skirt and also a group shot for your viewing pleasure.

Two of my favorite quotes of the evening were from Scott Patty (our pastor) and from Lee himself:

"I just hope that you all respect me in the morning when I get up to preach!" --Scott Patty, while wearing 80's attire which involved big shoulder pads.

When asked if he'd ever had long hair like some of the styles of the decades, Lee said, "No, my hair's been like this my whole life!"

Huge thanks and kudos to Leslie and Rebecca for coming up with the idea and for going above and beyond to make it a very special night for Mr. Lee! I've known Lee since before his 80th birthday, probably since 1996 ot 1997 and I will always be thankful for his quiet, strong, giving nature and for his loyal friendship.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What was lost has been found!

You probably remember the parables of the lost sheep, lost coin and lost son and how much rejoicing there was when the lost item/animal/person was found. Well, I was SOOOOOOOOO happy this morning when I learned that my skirt was no longer lost! I promised to not reveal the identity of the person who found it, but I will say that it wasn't found under my roof. Also, I am so thankful that I hadn't given it to Goodwill!

Now I can be a 50s girl on Saturday night! I'll post pics and tell all about it, I promise!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Missing: One green poodle skirt

Where, oh where, has that little dog gone? I have owned a poodle skirt ever since the summer of 1989, when I worked on a Centrifuge staff and the theme was the 50s. I make a pretty good 50s girl, if I do say so myself (sorry, no pictures readily available to post right now, but maybe someday I'll dig them out).

Anyway, I have an occasion to wear my poodle skirt this weekend (I'll have to post about that later, because it's a surprise party) but I CAN'T FIND IT!!!! I thought I knew exactly where it was, but when I went to look, it wasn't there! AAACCCKKK!!! I looked in some other places where it could have been and still have a couple more possibilities, but I'm getting a little nervous.

You see, I have been known to go through a cleaning out frenzy and sell stuff I didn't think I'd need (ask Daniel about his mom selling his Fisher Price Farm). However, I can't imagine that I could have done that with this skirt because I love being a 50s girl so much. Also, I have a very vague recollection of lending it to someone, but can't recall who that was or when or if I just dreamed it!

If anyone reading this knows the whereabouts of my skirt, go ahead and tell me. I won't be mad if you've borrowed it and had it this long. I'd also be very grateful if you didn't borrow it, but just had some kind of revelation about where it could be! :-)

Hopefully I'll be able to post a happy ending to this story soon!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Click to play Jeanette's Birthday
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Here are some pictures from Jeanette's birthday celebration this week (her actual bday was Saturday, we had the family party on Tuesday while Doug and Leanne were here). My favorite quote of the party was when Jeanette started to blow out her candles and stopped and said, "Oh, I don't know what to wish for because all of my wishes have come true!"

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Why I need to be transformed by the Gospel

A couple of weeks ago, I started the Gospel Transformation Bible study class at my church. I had done this eight-month study a few years ago in a Sunday School class at Grace, but when the opportunity came up to do it with a group of women, I thought it would be good for me to go through the class again (I'm in a different place in my life than I was back then). This course is a great study of what the Gospel means and how it can change our lives. In the process, our own sins are brought to the forefront of our minds and we see how much we are need of God's saving grace every day. It's tough, but worth it.

So, as I'm going through my daily life, I have realized that yes, I do need to be transformed and no, I can't do it on my own. Here are just a few examples of situations that I'm in daily that show me my deep need for the Gospel:

  • Each weekday when I drive to work, I have to get on I-65 at Harding Place, where people are going fast and trying to get over to the right lanes to exit at Armory Drive (why?) and I-440. They are looking out for #1 and it's not me! These people make me so mad!
  • At my workplace, there are people who think their mother works there. They leave dishes in the sink (the dishwasher is right next to the sink, but they must also think that the dishes have legs and can walk themselves into the dishwasher), they leave opened creamer and sugar packets on the counter (again, these things must be able to walk themselves over to the trash can), and they leave crumbs on the tables after eating lunch. Since cleaning up after people is apparantly in the job description for Director of Administration, under "other duties as assigned", I usually get to take care of these messes. And I get mad inside!
  • When 100+ people work under one roof, five days a week, 8 hours a day, personalities interact and sometimes clash. Gossiping also happens. I'm not immune to any of that and it shows me my sinful nature all the time!
  • Relating to a certain person in my life who I used to be married to brings challenges and continues to show me my need for the Gospel (as it did when I was married, but I think more so now).
  • Being a mom, a sister, an aunt, a friend, all these relationships are wonderful, but sometimes I mess up and say something I shouldn't or act in a controlling way. I am blessed with people in my life who show grace to me and forgive me when I fall. I am grateful.

I am excited about the next few months of doing this GT study. I only pray that I will not just read it and do the exercises, but that God will truly do a transforming work in my heart and I will be changed.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Weekends are "the shiz"!

The other day in the car, Daniel taught me a couple of "new" words. He also told me I'm not allowed to use them outside of the family, but I had to blog about it!

One word he taught me was "foshizzle". According to him, there can be some more to it that isn't good, but if you stop at that first word, it's ok. It means "for sure" and I think Toby Mac has it in one of his songs. I didn't understand what Daniel said at first, and pronounced it "foshishle". That sent my son into a fit of laughter, and ranked it up there with some of my best "mom trying to be cool" moments.

The other word that I learned that day was "the shiz", which means "awesome". Hence the title of this post and my real reason for writing today. I love weekends! I wake up so calm and my mind isn't racing with things that I need to do at work or at home (ok, sometimes I get uptight about things I need to do at home). Today, I was able to go for a long walk and then picked up Daniel from the spend-the-night party at Sean's (we have another teenager among us). The rest of the weekend is pretty much unplanned, although we will enjoy spending time with friends visiting from out of town and getting to see Baby Erica. Yep, weekends are "the shiz"!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

She oughta be in pictures . . .

Oh, she is! Miss Erica Jean Massey has been in the world just a few days and has probably had 1000 pictures taken of her! Between her dad, grandparents and aunts (one from TX and one from TN), this baby girl's picture has been snapped and snapped while she just snoozes and snoozes. I'll quit talking now and let you see just a small sampling of what I'm talking about (and this is just from one side of the family)! We're all crazy about this little sweetie!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Introducing . . .

Erica Jean Massey

Born on 08-22-08 at 2:21 p.m.

Weight: 7 lbs. 9 ozs.

Length: 19 in.

She has a little bit of blonde hair and the sweetest cheeks, definitely rivaling her cousin Daniel's, and soft, pink skin!

Jeanette is doing well and she and Russell, as well as the rest of the family, are so excited and thankful for Erica's safe arrival!

Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Friday's the day and C-section's the way

Only a little more than 48 hours until my niece will be born! We've known for a while that her birthday would probably be August 22nd, but after Jeanette's last doctor's appointment, it was decided that it would be best for Jeanette if they scheduled a c-section instead of inducing labor and having it be long and arduous and likely end up in a c-section. Jeanette and Russell feel peaceful about the decision and to say that we're all excited about this baby's arrival is a major understatement! Please be in prayer for Jeanette and Russell as the big day approaches and especially at 2:00 p.m. on Friday. We all appreciate your prayers from the time this journey began and I look forward to introducing you all to a sweet baby girl very soon!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Can I please put some time in a bottle?

Monday, August 11, was Daniel's first day of 8th grade, and I insisted on taking the traditional "First Day of School Photo" (and wasn't met with much resistance). I got to thinking how cool it will be someday to put 13 "First Day" pictures in a line and see the transformation. I'm not ready for that day, yet, but here's a little sneak preview comparison of the first day of Kindergarten vs. first day of 8th grade. This is why I love to take pictures and scrapbook! WOW!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Question of the Day

I am loving that the Summer Olympics have started and I have been trying to catch different events on my non-cable TV. My big question of the day is:

Why do the male beach volleyball players wear shirts and longer shorts, but the female players only wear bikini bathing suits?

I'm sure that it has a lot to do with who's watching the events and sponsors, etc., but PUH-LEEZE . . .

Monday, August 4, 2008

I never . . .

When I was in college, I remember playing a game called, "I never," where we sat in a circle and each person went around and said something she had never done (don't worry, it didn't get too personal). If the other people in the group had done the thing she'd never done, they had to put a penny in the middle. The person with the most pennies at the end was the winner.
Well, Daniel did something today that I've never done: He got braces! He got through it fine and doesn't seem to fazed by having all that metal in his mouth. I'm actually a little envious of the coolness factor, but not enough to plunk down thousands of dollars to get some of my own!
Some other things I've never done are:
  • watched an entire Star Wars movie
  • been snow skiing
  • ridden a motorcycle
  • toured Graceland
  • been kissed (ha! just kidding!)

So, anyone want to play? Post something that you've never done and see if you can stump me or anyone else who might want to play!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Should I be offended???

Well, my newly painted big toe met with an unfortunate incident the day after my pedicure last week. Yes, I got a chip within 24 hours of having my toes all nicely painted. (This is why I don't pay for this too often!)

So, all week, I've been thinking that I need to find someplace that sells OPI nail polish and namely, You're Such a Kabucki Queen shade, so I can salvage my pedi before it's too far gone. Today before lunch, I decided to check online and found out that a Sun Tan City store on West End, not far from my office, had the color I needed. Off I went to Sun Tan City to get myself some happiness in a small bottle. I walked in, asked for my nail polish (I had just called a few minutes prior, so the guy remembered what I was there for), and made the purchase. I asked him to validate my parking ticket and as I'm getting ready to leave, he said, "Come back if you ever want a suntan!"

Hmmm! Was that I reference to my lily white skin (which is actually slightly more tan than during the non-summer months) or was he just doing his job at the counter of the tanning salon? I guess I don't really want to waste too much time being offended, but I still thought, "He didn't just say that" as I walked out the door and smiled to myself as I went to the car.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sister Saturday: Girl Time!

Jeanette's baby is due in four weeks (27 days, if you're counting, and she is!), so I wanted to treat her to a pedicure as she prepares to welcome her daughter. Of course, I couldn't let her get a pedi all by herself! I think we're off to a good start in giving my niece lessons on what it means to be a girl!
We walked into Magic Nails and told them what we wanted and were escorted to our side-by-side chairs with water basins flowing, ready for our tired feet. On the way to the chairs, we picked out our nail polish colors. Jeanette's was bright pink (don't know the name of her color) and mine was a different shade of pink, called "You're Such a Kubucki Queen" (which I hope isn't something bad!), but also bright. For the next half hour we enjoyed soaking our feet in the bubbling water, having our callouses scrubbed and smoothed away, and getting our legs and feet massaged. At the end, our pink-hued toes were happily dried off under the lamp, and we went on our way to the next stop: Las Palmas!