Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Have Fought the Good Fight

One of my college friends, Kristen Hester Hicks, has started a Blog Bible Study. Every week she is presenting a challenge for us to study. Then we are supposed to blog about it and link back to her original post. For several months I have been trying to figure out a way to do a deeper Bible Study, and to be honest....I let life get in the way. When I read her blog, I realized this is it..this is what I have been looking for. If you want to join us go to her blog, Pretty Sweet: Heaven- Minded and read the instructions for the Bible Study, you will be glad that you did!
This weeks verse: 2 Timothy 4:1-8 (ESV)
4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is
to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and
his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and
out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete
patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when
people will not endure sound teaching, but having
itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers
to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away
from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering,
do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering,
and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought
the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge,
will award to me on that Day, and not only to me
but also to all who have loved his appearing.

In My Words:
We are to be ready to teach anybody, EVERYbody, anytime, ALL the time, any place, and EVERY place. Paul is begging Timothy (and us) to keep his mind (our minds) on the day of the Lord's appearing. We are to preach the gospel with unwavering diligence. We must be aware of false teachers, who will tell people what they want to hear instead of the truth... and we must teach the truth As Paul approached his execution, his body had been beaten, wounded, and scarred, but Paul could proudly say...."I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." Paul was able to say "I HAVE WON!!!"

My Thoughts:
We must be prepared to teach people about Jesus and to show them the way. Paul teaches by example and he was a great example of preaching anytime and any place. A couple of examples that stick out to me are:
* Acts 16:25-31 Paul was preaching in prison at midnight.
* Acts 27:20-25 Paul was preaching on a sinking ship on a dark stormy day.

On the day of Judgement the faithful followers of Christ will receive their reward. On the day of Judgement I want to be able to proclaim like Paul... "I HAVE WON!!!" and then enter in to my reward. What a day that will be!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Jaycee's Winter "ONE"derland

I LOVE throwing parties for my children!!!! I begin planning months in advance. With Jaycee's birthday being right after Christmas, I knew that it would be busy, crazy, stressful, and just about any other adjective that you can throw in there. But I was determined that her birthday would not get lost in the holiday season. She deserves her own special day and I believe that we provided that for her. While I know that she will not remember this day, I truly believe that she enjoyed herself and loved the attention that she was given.

Since this was her first birthday, I decided to play on words and the theme for her party became:
Jaycee's Winter "ONE"derland
This is her invitation. I took a picture from each month of her first year and used it to create this invitation. The wording is small, but the poem says:
"In a magical kingdom 'neath a blanket of white,
lives a tiny snow princess, who's full of delight.
Her icicle castle is ready for fun;
for this tiny snow princess is soon turning one.
Hitch a ride on a snowflake and soar through the breeze,
past snowy topped mountains and frost covered trees.
The snowmen will greet you, the event will be grand,
so join us in Jaycee's Winter "One"derland.

I used all silver, white and pink for the decorations....snowflakes, snowmen, and even fake "snow" in a can.

The menu was all WHITE:
White Chicken Chili
Potato Soup
Turkey Pinwheel Rolls
Turkey and Provolone Cheese Sandwiches
White Cheese and Cracker Tray
White Veggies with Ranch Dip
Ruffles and French Onion Dip
And Little Olive Penguins

(I know that they are not white, but they were so very cute)

The dessert table included:
Birthday Cake with a Snow Princess Snow Globe on top
Snowflake and Mitten Sugar Cookies
White Chocolate and Sprinkle covered Marshmallows
Snowflake Suckers (Strawberry and Cinnamon)

I also did a Cocoa Bar complete with White Hot Chocolate, marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, snowflake sprinkles, candy canes, and mint sticks. It was definitely a big hit!!

I made Jaycee a 2 tier cake covered in Pink Fondant Icing with a Snow globe that I made out of a cupcake on top.

Jaycee had her own Smash Cake that was just a square with a white snowflake on top of it. She didn't get too messy, but seemed to really like the icing!

The birthday girl had a lot of fun opening her presents. I think the practice with Christmas really helped her know what to do, because she was tearing paper off like a pro!

The favor boxes were one of my favorite touches. I made "Build a Snowman" kits. These kits had hats, scarfs, eyes, carrot noses, and stones for mouths. All we need is a good snow and we will see some super cute snowmen around town!

I also had some small cookies and the suckers bagged up with cute little tags (that I created on my computer) for the guests to take home with them.

Merry Christmas from our Hearts to Yours!

Christmas Morning is so much fun! I love to see the sparkle in the kids eyes as the eagerly await their chance to see what Santa has left. When I was little we always had to wait on my dad to sit at the top of the stairs while dad made his coffee, mom made a cup of hot tea, and listen to them ooh and awe over what Santa had brought. Once they had their caffeine, we were able to push and shove as we rushed down the stairs. I always thought that was so mean, but guess what....we do the same thing to our kids.

After the presents are opened the kids play while I fix a big Christmas Breakfast. This year the kids bought me a waffle maker so we enjoyed homemade waffles, country ham, and fruit salad for breakfast. After breakfast we spend the rest of the day playing and watching movies.

We normally eat an early dinner on Christmas Day. We had ham, pototoe casserole, strawberry pretzel salad, green beans, fruit salad, and rolls. I asked the boys if they wanted to eat on normal dishes or the "fancy" dishes. They chose the fancy dishes. So I pulled out my china and crystal...we dined in elegance.

After dinner the kids wanted me to take pictures of their favorite gifts.
Merry Christmas from our Hearts to yours!

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is a lot of fun at the Hart house. We generally spend the entire day in our pj's. We bake and decorate cookies for Santa, we play games, watch Christmas movies, and always end the evening with Pizza while watching the Polar Express. Then we enjoy cocoa and cookies before preparing for Santa's visit. We carefully choose cookies to leave for Santa, we read "The Night Before Christmas", we prepare reindeer food for Rudolph and friends, then the boys rush inside to get in bed.

Magic Elves...straight from the North Pole!

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Not because of the gifts, but because of the time we get to spend with Family and for the traditions that we are creating with out children. During the whole month of December we have special guest visitors from the North Pole. Watkins, Cane, Oliver, and Holly come to spend the month with us. They are magical elves that Santa lets come to stay with us. Several years ago we wrote Santa and asked for an elf to come. We had so much fun with Watkins, that we asked for another elf the next year. So Cane joined Watkins. Cane is a larger elf so he doesn't always get to come...sometimes Santa needs his help loading the sleigh and fixing machines. In 2008 Santa needed Cane to stay at the North Pole so he sent us Oliver instead. The neat thing about Oliver is that he has a twin sister Holly, who came last year so that Jaycee would have a girl elf to spend the holidays with. The elves are such a special part of our Christmas celebrations and we love having them around. They tend to be a little mischievous at times and sometimes they make a pretty big mess, but it is fun to wake up each morning and find them to see what they did while we were asleep.

The morning the elves arrived this year they surprised the boys with a pancake breakfast complete with Bacon and Chocolate Milk. The boys loved Holly's pancakes and were quick to inform me that I should get Holly's recipe.

Every Friday night we have a "Family Night" complete with pizza, movies, games, and junk food. The elves were apparently very excited about spending Family night with us,they brought popcorn and candy for us to enjoy during our movie.

We always enjoy our month with the elves and are always sad to see them leave on Christmas Eve. The kids talk about their adventures with the elves all year long.