Thursday, December 30, 2010

You can have fun...

... even if you don't win. (Baylor lost to Univ. of Illinois in the Texas Bowl last night.)
Here are some pics...




-----------
On a COMPLETELY different note,
my dear dad
died of cancer
four years ago
tonight...

What a wonderful man he was.

It still seems strange
to talk about him
in the past tense.

He was
a wonderful husband,
a wonderful father,
a wonderful Christian...
He was a deacon
in the Baptist church -
since before I was born.
He also led music at
First Baptist Church, Mission,
while I (from 8th grade till 12th grade) played the piano,
and my twin played the organ.

He was also a Gideon.

He also taught Sunday School lessons on Sunday afternoons in the county jail.

(I know he did other things I'm forgetting.)

He was an Aggie. A PROUD Aggie.
And a Marine. A PROUD Marine.
And he was proud he got to send his twin girls to Baylor.

When he was in his fifties he redefined his life: he moved from Mission, Texas to his grandfather's homestead in east Texas... and set up his office there... and got cattle, and horses... and a surrey... and a big garden... and built memories for all his grandkids and all his extended family.

In the fall of 2004 he and Mother moved to the Metroplex to be near me... since his cancer meant they couldn't keep taking care of 'White Haven'.

Did you know that he learned to play the violin when he was 70 years old? He was inspired by a lady in his church who started taking violin lessons when she was 80 years old. (He played in nursing homes when he was probably older than some of the residents.)
That is a lesson to me!

He died at 81 on Dec. 30, 2006...
I love you, Daddy.
I'm going to go spend tonight with the love of your life, my precious mom.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Look who's 4 today!!!!

Happy Birthday, Caroline!!!
(I know, you're not 4 in any of these pictures.... but you were getting there!)






Monday, December 27, 2010

Interesting..

My son always gives interesting gifts.
Here's what he gave me for Christmas (we drew names this year - and he got mine!)....
and (No, none of it's beer.)

Ah, but then there were these two beautiful necklaces....

But that wasn't all!..
Check out these beautiful, framed pictures...
On this next one I managed not to get the reflection of my hand holding my iPhone....
Isn't all that great?!
I'm overwhelmed.
--------
As for me, the gifts I give are usually run-of-the-mill.

Except this year.

For the man who has everything I got a jelly fish aquarium. It has real water in it but fake jelly fish. ... and it has different lights. (He had been talking about getting his FotP office decorated.)
It's supposed to be soothing to watch.
Well, it has ME mesmerized.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas night...

... is what I voted for on my recent poll.

Well, I love - LOVE - Christmas Eve.
And, I love - LOVE - Christmas Morn.
But...
...there is something so relaxing and satisfying about Christmas Night with its memories of the Eve and Morn that, well, I voted for it.

'Course as I type it's not quite night time yet. . . but I'm in that Christmas Night mode. Mmmm.

I didn't get many pictures today, but I like the ones I got...



(Is she not darling?!)

I hope YOU had a great day, too!

Friday, December 24, 2010

My nails are red...


I just finished
wrapping
my last present...

... so I painted
my nails
bright red.

I like it
when I paint
my nails.

It means
I canNOT
do anything
besides type
for 40 minutes.

Sweet.

I hope everyone has a MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!!!

Me? - I'm playing keyboard at the 5:00 and 6:15 Christmas Eve services at Fellowship of the Parks, Grapevine.

Sam is attending all three campuses' services. FotP Keller has 5 (as in FIVE) services starting at 3:00. The Haslet campus has 3 services starting at 4:00.
[I'm glad to be playing in the Grapevine campus (2 services).]
[Our church has 3 campuses.]
[I hope all those numbers didn't confuse you. They do me sometimes.]

This will be the first year for us not to attend Bear Valley's Christmas Eve service. I'm kind of grieving about that...
... and yet ... I'm excited about this new phase in our lives!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Look!

Look who came to see me (and the village!) in the tea room yesterday!
Oh, and Mother brought me some new shoes to wear in the tea room - to help make me Fancy Nancy!...





Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Can you believe this?


I mean, sometimes it can seem a little cartoonish...
But I believe it was real...
Oh yes.

And that belief has changed my life.


There are some billboards out this season about it being a myth.

And there's a website from a guy who calls himself "The Friendly Atheist". At first I thought that sounded like an oxymoron, ... and when I went to the site, except for his smiling face, it really DID seem like an oxymoron. He rants and rants about Christians and their idiot ways.
He posts about every 3 hours or so.
I'm thinking - like Hamlet's mother Gertrude said- 'thou does protest too much'.

I was listening to Dennis Prager the other day interview a cardiologist from Holland who affirms there is an almighty God. The doctor (I forget his name) was raised in a nonreligious home. Since he's been a cardiologist and interviewed and studied patients with after-death experiences he's determined their experiences weren't just results of brain cells doing weird things once the body and brain are dead. He's convinced there IS an afterlife... and there IS an Almighty.

My own experiences convince me.

That, and reading the Bible, and hearing and reading from others who believe.

And that there are 'Great Awakenings' happening in Australia, Africa, definitely China, and even (yes, EVEN) in Europe. That's not to mention India and South America.

I'm not mad at atheists. I'm sad for them.

I can understand why they might equate the Baby Jesus in the manger with, say, the Little Mermaid. But go back in history - which is true?

Atheists think we're simpletons who need a crutch.

The simpleton part may be true for me - but I don't need a crutch.
I need a wheel-chair.
And a Savior!

Thank heavens for Christmas!

I could go on and on - and sorry this is so hodgepodge - but I don't much like lengthy blog-posts.

I'll close with a quote from an interesting writer whom I really like...
"I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas season, and find yourself reflecting on the Incarnation. He came to us, proclaimed a message of peace, then left to prepare a place for us. Even as I type these words they sound absurd. I’m a fool to believe it, and yet I do. Christ be with you this Christmas."
- Donald Miller

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I like this picture....

[From left, seated: my mother, (uncle) Frank, (aunt) Helen, Laura, Ryan;
standing: Sam, me, Will, Bailey.]
----------
I've heard/read somewhere that there are some people who don't much like getting together with their family members during the holidays.
Well, let it be known: I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.

I love getting together with my family.

Well, my family is fun.

Take Frank and his new-found cousin...


...they're
so
glad
they
found
each
other!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

We partied like it was 2010...

(I didn't get enough pictures of our Lone Star staff party, but, of course, I had to be in two out of the four I did get.)






I'd tell you
who all these people are
but I still haven't figured out
how to do the captions
when I make the pictures
medium-sized.



The main thing is
that
I know
who these people are
... and that I love them.

Friday, December 17, 2010

All quiet on the Carmack front...


... all I hear is the sound of my fingers typing these words.
Sweet.
Oh, and there are some dogs barking in the distance.

This is Sam's day off and when he really does take a Friday off I try and take it off with him. (Yes, life is good.)

So we both slept late together. Sleeping late used to mean sleeping till ten. Now it means till 7:30-ish.
------
Yesterday I had a really bad hair day.

Ah, but I got the solution for a Christmas-time bad hair day: a Santa hat like the one that's pictured at the start of this post! (A post is cheerier when there's a picture to see right away.)

I only wore the hat when I played in the tea room... and that took some courage... since it does look a tad silly. .... but I'm maturing... which ironically means I can do silly easier.
------
In closing, here are some Christmas jokes that might make you laugh a little ....

How do you make a slow reindeer fast ?
Don't feed it !
--
What do you call Santa Claus after he’s fallen into a fireplace?
Krisp Kringle
--
What nationality is Santa Claus?
North Polish
---
What do you call a bunch of grandmasters of chess bragging about their games in a hotel lobby?
Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.
---
A ten-year old, under the tutelage of her grandmother, was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible.
Then one day she floored her grandmother by asking,
”Which Virgin was the mother of Jesus? The Virgin Mary or the King James Virgin?”
---------

I put up a new poll yesterday afternoon. Please take it!
Thanks.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It takes a village...

Yes, it takes a little (yet big) Christmas village... to make the Simplicities Tea Room in the Lone Star Antique Mall look VERY MERRY!!





Come see it!
Address is 5605 Denton Highway, Haltom City (northeast of Fort Worth)(1/4 mile north of NE Loop 820).

I'll be playing background music from 11:30 - 1:30 tomorrow and Saturday ... and next Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

And my sweet daughter will be waiting tables!

(You know you want to come.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

VIVID...

I have VIVID memories of Christmases past.

I remember driving the long drive (515 miles one way) from Mission to Dallas and Kaufman to see our grandparents. Peggy and I would plan weeks in advance what we were going to take to occupy us on the long drive .
(When we were younger Mother would have a sack of fun stuff that every hour or so she would put her hand in and pick out something... like a little note pad, or a little toy.)

And I remember going to sleep on the floor in Grandmother Ora’s living room on Christmas Eve and so not wanting to fall asleep. All I wanted was just a glimpse of Santa coming through the front door. I never got that glimpse... but he always came.

Then I remember that one Christmas our family decided to stay in Mission. Peggy and I were beside ourselves with worry that Santa wouldn’t know we had stayed home. Did he even know where we lived? How could he? (And we'd worked at being so good.) (Ah, but he found us.)

Then I remember - about a year and a half later - drying the dishes in the kitchen (I remember the exact spot where I was standing) and I asked Mother something like “Is Santa Claus real?”
And she told me.

Jeez. In a moment childhood was over.

Ah, but I loved believing ... and having those memories of believing.

What about you....
Did you believe in Santa?
If you did how did you find out the truth? (Or did you?)
Do you think it’s good or bad to let children believe in Santa?

If you don’t mind, please leave a comment answering one or all of those questions.
(No pressure.)

Thanks!

(My apologies to my kids for assuming they knew the truth - when, it turned out, they didn’t.)
(Parents: don’t assume anything.)