Wednesday, December 31, 2008

farewell to yet another year

You have been kind to inquire if I was, just tired.
I am glad that you read my blog and that you have missed me.

I had lots of guests this year and spent a lot of time preparing meals and things so I had nothing left at the end of the day but a tired mind to fall into bed with.

I have spent the last few days resting and organizing. Organizing relaxes me after a stressful time.

I loved every minute of Christmas. It was a wonderful time. I have lots of pictures to share. I will start back with my blog tomorrow on January 1, 2009. I hope I can accomplish another year.

You all make me write. Your feedback encourages me.

This has been a difficult year to say the least, but your love and concern have seen me through.

To God be the glory great things He has done.

From your friend, Cathy

Monday, December 22, 2008

30 in a 25

I am either too busy or too tired to blog tonight.....I don't know which.

Amanda, Mark, Jake, and Eli are not due in until midnight.....Bubba will be greeting them.

My house is so clean right now after the lovely maid service I had today....wish it could stay this way.

I do have one thing to say.

We finally got stopped by a cop on Berwick tonight coming home from our shopping trip and dinner out. We were going 30 in a 25mph zone. He was gracious to only give us a warning and not a ticket, but please, doesn't he have anything better to do? Thieves are breaking in cars right and left around here.

I think I am finally done with my shopping, and almost done with my wrapping. Tomorrow and Wednesday will be cook....cook....cook.

Now....I need to talk to Bubba about a nice, long vacation.

Well....looks like I blogged anyway.

Have a good's almost time for Santa.

Love to all, Cathy

Sunday, December 21, 2008

running on adrenalin

I know that what I am doing is not healthy for my body.

Every morning I pop awake anywhere between 4:30 and 5:30 am.
My mind starts thinking about all I have to do.
I try to go back to sleep, but usually fail.
So......I get up and hit the ground running.....
racing against the clock to do all I can possibly do before turning out the light at 9:00pm.

I love to read before falling asleep, but I can barely get through one or at the most two pages before my body is shutting down......sleep comes very fast and is deep until.......4:30 to 5:30 the next morning.

One good thing about this is that I get to have wonderful quiet times with the Lord. When I get up I am fully awake and ready to start my day.

This happens to me every Christmas......

I was mortified in church today when my body relaxed and wanted to nod off to sleep. The sermon was engrossing but at one point I caught myself drifting off as my body stayed still and slowly relaxed.

A big blessing came when Bubba agreed to allow a wonderful cleaning lady to come get my house sparkling tomorrow afternoon. This is a real luxury for me and I am thankful.

The first of our guests will arrive tomorrow night. I pray for God to give them all traveling mercy and that everyone will stay well for our Christmas celebration.

One more thing before I go to bed......Today was Estelle's birthday. We had lunch at Rita and Mitch's house. All was lovely. I took lots of pictures. When I went to put them on the computer tonight I realized that the sym card which records the pics was not in my, no pictures.

I say that to say this: Watch me. I know from previous experience that there will come a day real soon when I will lose all of my steam and will need to sleep......I hope I have enough adrenalin left for one more week.....


Saturday, December 20, 2008

test the candles night

Tonight has officially been declared "test the candles night." If you look closely at the picture you will see that one of the candles is not working properly and will need to be attended to. It is a very old candle that I have tried to coax new life into and have failed.

Christmas time is synonymous in my home with "burn a lot of candles."

Looking ahead to Christmas Day, my favorite accuweather forecast has revealed that we will not be having a white Christmas this year. I was still holding out hope, but it just doesn't look like it is going to happen. That is why I burn candles.

It will be too warm even for my poor little fake logs with a house full of people breathing on Christmas Eve, so I will warm up the house with candles.

I discovered tonight during my testing period that so many candles burning at one time make the house oppresively hot.........all of the fans have been turned on and windows and doors are open. Anything for fire burning in the house.

Whoever said that this was to be the coldest winter on record didn't check us out down here in the deep south. People were sunning by the pool yesterday at the beach.

There is an important message in the photo above.

"For unto us a child is born." Jesus, the Son of God was born in Bethlehem.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."

The best news that you will ever hear!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

an evening in the life

Bubba grilling pork chops and baking whole sweet potatos for dinner.

Eating and drinking out of the Christmas dinnerware.

The back door and the front door open wide to let some coolness in.

An 81 degree day in December.

Planning the meals for our guests next week.

Being excited about Harry standing alone for the briefest moment.

A van full of happy people riding around looking at Christmas lights.

Lucy laughing and saying, "That was so much fun!"

Coming home to hot coffee and a fresh jelly roll cake.

My Christmas beautiful.

Everybody working together to hang my "Merry Christmas" sign.

Going to the beach tomorrow because it's so warm.

Thanking God for all these blessings and so much more..............

The gift of life frrom Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

i love you...........c

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

fresh cut pine

First of all I would like to say that it is December 17th and our air-conditioner is on.
Bubba was in the kitchen making two rounds of sausage cheese balls and he starting getting really hot. There was nothing else for me to do but try to cool him off because he was doing such a good job and working so hard.
We are having very warm, almost 80 degree days.
Tomorrow night he will make thousands of Swedish meatballs. All of this is for our Christmas Eve party next Wednesday night.
Christmas preparations are always so much fun. I love to decorate the house and get everything looking real Christmasy. Today I was out in the field by our house cutting fresh pine boughs. I brought them in and "decked the halls."
Above is my mantle.........everything is real. I love it.
Amanda was taken to tea at the Williamsburg Inn today. This is very special and it is only done two days a year during the Christmas season. The pastry chef who worked at the White House for many years works at the Inn now.
There were sixty quests and everyone had a gingerbread house to decorate. She won the contest for the best looking house, but didn't get a prize. That's okay.....she said it was one of the most fun things she has ever done.
Our house will be full again next week. This is my joy to be able to gather with family at this very special time of year. It is a time when everyone can relax and enjoy being together.
Thank you Lord for the blessing of Christmas.

tiny crystals

This was twinkling in the shrouded sunlight this morning. It looked like thousands of tiny crystals had been strung together to make a Christmas ornament.....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

more about mary

The birth of Jesus was foretold many times in the Old Testament by the prophets of God.
The prophets spoke for God about the things that would happen at a time in the future.
All of the prophecies about the birth of Jesus were fulfilled just as they were written in God's word.

Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign; Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name Immanuel (which means God with us)."

I wrote about Mary a couple of days ago. Mary was chosen by God before the earth was formed to be the Mother of His Son Jesus Christ. Indeed she was a virgin, just like Isaiah foretold.

The point I want to make is that Mary, the favored one of God, was never meant to recieve the glory and honor that has been given to her in the last two thousand years.

Mary was a humble vessel that God chose to carry out His plan of redemption here on this earth.

Mary was completely human, just as we are. Yes she was given an amazing give birth to the Son of God, but she is not divine in any way.

Riding on that donkey into Bethlehem was painfully uncomfortable. Giving birth in an animal shelter was soft lights and music for her......nothing to ease the horrible pain. The stark reality was that Jesus was delivered on a bed of hay.

But when she held that tiny little baby in her arms that cold dark night, she was overcome with love and amazement and joy just like all of us mothers were at the birth of our children.

She knew her baby was born to die........what sadness she must have felt. When she wrapped Him tenderly in those swaddling cloths she knew their significance. Those were symbolic of the cloths that Jesus would be wrapped in after His death on the cross. (I learned this in the sermon on Sunday by the way).

Now Mary didn't move on from the manger and assume a high and exalted status. She kept on being Jesus' mother. She raised him and his brothers and sisters in her Jewish home with her husband Joseph.

We know almost nothing of Mary until Jesus started His earthly ministry at or around the age of thirty. She would then be the mother of her grown Son and she ministered to Him with the other women who walked the paths Him.

Mary saw her Son's death, burial, and resurrection probably not understanding the full magnitude of what had just one would understand until the coming of the Holy Spirit some time later as recorded in the 2nd chapter of Acts.

From the cross Jesus uttered these words......

"When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, he said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son! Then He said to His disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that time the disciple (John) took her to His own home.

Mary was Jesus' mother, but she is not to be worshipped. The humble earthly mother of Jesus would have depised the exaltation that has be given to her. We worship God and His Son Jesus Christ and that is it......

O Worship the King..."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

she is fully dressed

It took two weeks, but as of last night my tree is fully dressed. I wanted you to see her in all of her glory.

Aside from the slight lean to the left she looks pretty good.

One afternoon last week we all got together for the great straightening process. The tree was loosed from her holding screws and supposedly realigned from her leaning position.

With the ornaments shaking and falling David asked a perfectly legitimate question, "Aren't you supposed to do this before you decorate it?"

Okay wise guy, yes you are. We thought she was straight the first time, but she wasn't. Bubba was flat on the floor screwing and unscrewing these huge screws from the trunk of this tree while we were all laughing and making merry.

Finally we all agreed and said, "The tree is straight now........we are sure of it."

If you look closely at the picture you will see that she is still leaning slightly to the left. Evidently that is the way she wants it.

Oh Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree.............

Hope you are having a fun holiday, Cathy

Saturday, December 13, 2008

thinking about mary

I've been thinking a lot about know, the earthly mother of Jesus.

Mary was a Jew. We know that she was very young at sixteen or seventeen years. She was engaged to be married to Joseph, also a Jew. We know that she was still a virgin.

They, like all young couples in love, were looking to spend the rest of their lives together, so it seems as if this very normal young lady was excitingly planning her future and living her life in the Jewish culture of the day.

If you are a woman, imagine yourself in Mary's place. We can well remember the giddiness and excitement of that time of our lives.

One very ordinary day that turned extrodinary, an angel came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you."

Can you fathom what you would do if that happened to you? The Bible says that Mary was

1. greatly troubled at what the angel had said to her and
2. that she tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be

The angel had very politely greeted her.
He told her that she was favored.
He told her that the Lord was with her.

I know I would be flat on the floor shaking and scared out of my mind. Angels just don't come and speak audibly to us very often.

After the angel greeted Mary, he said, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God."

Amazing! Here was this sinful child getting on with her life and this angel came and told her she had found favor with God. Incredible!

How did she find favor with God? Way back before the foundation of the world was set,God chose Mary to be the vessel through which Jesus would come into this world. She didn't ask God for this honor, she didn't seek it in anyway. God chose Mary and when He got ready to tell her, He did so.

The angel continues to give Mary God's message:

"And behold you will concieve in your womb and bear a son, and you will call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of his father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."

Mary only had one question in reply, "How will this be since I am a virgin?"

She recovered enough from her fear to ask one sensible question. Remember, the angel had told her already that the Lord was with her. The Holy Spirit had come to her and she was prepared to do what God would ask her to do. She just wanted to know how on earth it would happen because she had not "known" Joseph yet.

The angel answered her question:

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy----the Son of God................for nothing will be impossible with God."

You know what Mary said without hesitation?

"Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."

Instant more questions, no let me pray about it and get back to you, no let's wait until after the wedding.....none of that. "I AM YOUR SERVANT."

And the angel departed from her..........

to be continued.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

thoroughly delightful it was

Bubba dropped me off at Lenox mall at 9:30 this morning....just me and my purse.

A whole day at my favorite mall....what a delight.
Christmas shopping was only one part of the fun of this day.

Several years ago some of my Atlanta friends introduced me to the Neiman Marcus Cafe.
Now I don't ever "shop" in Neimans's because it is ridiculously expensive and overly haughty.
But their cafe is a different story.

At about 10:30 this morning I started having one of my famous "sinking spells," and I knew I needed to eat soon. I bet you can guess where I went and I was there when they opened.

Noticing right away that they had expanded and redecorated, I surmised there would be new menus. Sure enough what I go there to eat had gone up three dollars.

I was drawn to the she-crab soup and that is what I ordered. Now I have to tell you, that was the most delicious crab soup that has ever made it's way into my mouth. Along with the hot pop-over served with fresh strawberry butter, I felt transported to realms of delight.

As you can see I love to eat and I love even more to stumble on something quite gourmet. Big lumps of fresh crab meat were abundantly floating around in my soup tureen.

Upon leaving I ordered one of their "everything" cookies for my next sinking spell which happens somewhere between two and three.

One of my favorite stores is "Shabby Chic." I just walk in that place and feel like I have come home. It is me, totally me. My other favorites are Bloomindales and Anthropology.

I like Bloomingdales because they have great sales and today was an additional 40% off of already marked down items, and then another 20%, and another 15%. I wish I could tell you what I was able to buy for such ridicoulous prices, but I would ruin someone's Christmas surprise.

We still believes in Santa, you know.....

Bubba found me at 2:30 at the Starbucks in the center of the mall eating my cookie and drinking an eggnog latte surrounded by shopping bags that I could no longer carry. What a nice way to end this fun day. Bubba took all those bags to the car and gave me one more hour to shop.

We arrived home at 8:00 with our heads full of beautiful Christmas music and very tired bodies, but oh, it was so much fun.

Maybe you can come with me one day.....c

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

posting from Atlanta

This morning we got up early and headed for our former home, Atlanta, Georgia.
It is always very exciting for me to have the opportunity to head west on I-16 and return.

The rain found us when we hit the outskirts of the city.............and it hasn't stopped since.

Of course the rain doesn't fall inside of Perimeter Mall and it didn't dampen my pleasure at all.
I came up to Christmas shop and that I did. I shopped until I grew tired and couldn't carry my packages anymore. I was going back tonight, but Bubba said I should rest so that I can shop again tomorrow. Nice man, huh?

So here I am writing this blog.

We are staying a Hampton Inn and they have those wonferfully comfy beds so I am looking forward to sleeping tonight.......I look forward to sleeping every night, but this is more fun.

I saw an Einstein bagel shop across the street just now as we were coming back to the hotel. Maybe we can go there for breakfast in the morning. I sure do like their bagels.

Tomorrow Bubba will drop me off at Lenox Mall and he will go to a Christmas party for the office where he worked before retirement........after stretching that out as long as I can, we will head for home.

It is good to get away if only for a couple of days.

I will tell Amanda that I got her gifts today. What a sale I ran into! Much off!!! I know that this will make her day.

Mark and Amanda's church in Lanexa is doing a drive thru nativity this week. It has been very successful and lots of fun.

I am celebrating that Jesus came to this earth as a tiny little baby just like the Bible says. I celebrate the coming of Jesus every day when I thank Him for my salvation. Let's celebrate together!!!!

i love you, c

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

the christmas goose

I have been trying to come up with my menu for Christmas dinner 2008.
When I looked out back just now I saw that the geese have stopped by again.
They were feasting in the backyard.
Then I had a great idea. I will have "goose" on that day!

What a clever idea.
Bubba will be in charge of the capture and the kill and the dressing of this bird.
In fact, he will have to be in charge of every aspect of this procedure.

I don't know why I hadn't thought of this sooner.

Enjoy your day, Cathy

Sunday, December 7, 2008

my treasure Thou art

In the midst of the sufferings of this life I am reminded of God's love and I have hope.

Bubba is ordering me a book by John Calvin on suffering so that I can better understand what God wants me to learn through this trial with my family which is worsening with each passing day.

Suffering is a big part of a true believer's life. I want to do it well. I want to grow from it. May it not be endured in vain.

Help me by praying that God will bring glory to Himself through this situation

"Riches I heed not,
nor men's empty praise -
Thou my inheritence,
now and always;
Thou and Thou only,
first in my heart -
High King of Heaven,
My treasure Thou art."

from the fourth verse of the hymn "Be Thou My Vision."


When God is your greatest treasure, you already have everything.

Praise God for letting me know Him....Cathy

Friday, December 5, 2008

lucy turns three

Three years ago Lucy was born.......two days later God, by His grace, gave her to us to love.
Lucy is articulate.......she can carry on quite a conversation with you.
Lucy bubbles over with enthusiasm about life.
Lucy is a reader.
Lucy never forgets to say thank you.
Lucy knows what happens when she is disobedient.
Lucy has two imaginary friends......Uniqua and Austin.
Lucy goes into Aunt Dottie's house and throws down her purse, right where I threw mine down a second earlier.
Lucy likes to eat fruit.......likes to eat at "the gorilla."
Lucy got a two-wheel bike with training wheels for her birthday today.
Lucy mounted the bike in her party dress like a pro.
Lucy's boo-boos disappear with a kiss.
Lucy is a stylish dresser.
Lucy wears Wal-Mart work boots with class and style.
Lucy is a good helper and will be at your side in your time of need.
Lucy is a whirlwind of excitement, kindness, and compassion. She loves her people fiercely.
She is fiercely loved right back.
Lucy is an amazing gift from God.....thank you for Lucy.
love, grammie

Thursday, December 4, 2008

decorating the tree

Sorry about missing some days of blogging. I always have the desire to write, but sometimes the lights are turned out in my head due to tiredness.

I've mentioned before that I never know what I am going to write about until I sit down here at my desk and begin the process. When even then it doesn't come I know that it is time to be to rest.

Lucy and I had a day of shopping this morning. I picked her up, she grabbed her purse, and off we went. We didn't do a lot because I get tired of getting her in and out of the carseat. She is sleeping now, I hope...

We did stop at Hester and Zipperers to look for a planter. She and I enjoyed swinging in the big pine swing for a time and then we went inside where she grabbed my hand and said, "Grammie, it makes me so happy to be here with you." God only knows, sweet little child, how much I love being with you.

We searched diligently for the planter and I was about to give up hope, when there in the corner was just what I was looking for. It was upsidedown and filled with cobwebs, old looking in the way I like. I grabbed it up and asked lucy what she thought; "It's perfect grammie, let's get it."

I told the man at the check out that I wanted to buy it, but I didn't know how much it was.....I surmissed that it was very expensive. He looked at it and said, "You want that? I would never sell anything that looks like that! You can have it!" Music to my ears!

I came home with my prize.....very proud, very proud indeed. It will cradle my basil by the kitchen sink.
lots more to say.....cathy

Monday, December 1, 2008

fresh christmas tree

It smells is nine feet tall and it is beautiful to behold. I am so excited to have our tree in the house, in it's stand filled with water ready to be decorated.

Last year I didn't have a Christmas tree. We were moving back to Savannah from DC into the condo at the beach and Bubba said that makes this year even more exciting.

After it is all dressed up I will take another picture for you to see.

I have a hard time choosing my tree. Bubba kind of hurries me and I have to make my decision quickly. Immediately after I make the final decision I start to doubt myself and to think, "O, if I had just looked a little longer I would have found a better tree than this one."

Now that it is in the house and standing I am sure that it is the best tree I've ever had.

Bubba made sugar water and filled the receptacle that it stands in to the top. I hope it stays fresh and green for the whole month.

There is a little book that I dearly love......."The Life of God in the Soul of Man." It was written by a man named Henry Scougal in 1667. The depth of the knowledge of the truth about what God does in the heart of a true believer contained in this book changed my life.

Think about what Jesus did when he came to this earth and rejoice in this knowledge. Because of Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection, we who believe are given a new heart filled with the Spirit of God. We are made whole again, we are made righteous, we are accepted and adopted by God Himself to spend eternity with Him.

Celebrate Christmas? Yes
Enjoy the season? Yes

But......celebrate what Jesus did by coming to this earth every day of your life. It is the only thing that matters when your car runs off the road on a rainy Sunday night and hits a tree and you die instantly like an acquaintance of mine did last night.