If you feel like we are celebrating a birthday almost every blog...you are probably right. Our immediate family isn't that large, so how on earth can almost everyone have a birthday within weeks of each other, and so close to Christmas at that!
Today is Daddy, Bill (pronounced Beel by my mother), Billy Ray, Bill Bowers, Papa's birthday. I think he has but one wish, for my mother to turn the heat up to 72 for the day!
Whatever your wish, I hope it comes true! Happy Birthday to my Dad...I'm happy I got you!
If we've heard it once we've heard it a thousand times, right. But it is as true today as the day our mothers first uttered the words.
Here's a little of the break down of Christmas, at least for me.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Jesus loves everyone, always has, always will. His love is one of sacrifice, ultimately the sacrifice that would save the world. Of course He should be the reason we celebrate Christmas at all and it is easy to get side tracked on the giving..excess anyone?!?
On the other hand, it is okay to give gifts at Christmas. It is exactly what Jesus wants us to do, give to others. Our giving should be a matter of the heart, paying it forward where there is need.
Opportunities exist every single day and we need to be as generous, caring and giving as our time and resources will allow, not just at Christmas. Christmas brings opportunities to the surface though and that is a good thing, an opportunity to give something back - don't miss your chance! There are so many places to volunteer, places to serve.
A dear family was put in our path for such a reason this year. One chance encounter provided opportunity for lives to be touched in the true spirit of Christmas. One email and love was paid forward by my generous family and friends.
I had the privilege of delivering the goods today and the look of joy and HOPE for this grandmother made me the lucky recipient. God is so good!
Below, a grandmother's note, handwritten, name left out for privacy, but I think you will agree, it truly is better to give than receive.
Or should I say Dallas and bust! I went to Dallas for the purpose of visiting with a few friends before Christmas, relaxing, shop a little, see Kristen :), but I think I must say clearly the SOLE purpose was to eat as many meals in as little time as possible!
I hit town at 1 and ate at my favorite Mexican food place of all time, Tupinambas. If you go to Dallas, eat there! You will not be disappointed, promise.
A couple of my friends spent the afternoon shopping before we met up for dinner, 6:30, Campisis (Italian), must be #2 on the favorites because I also eat there every time I'm in Dallas.
We had so much fun. Three of our grown children met up with us. It's always fun to see the second generation of our group together.
Tuesday was full, shopping with Coleen, eating lunch at 12, movie (Invictus) and then group dinner....again at Tupinambas! Of course we know the owner on a first name basis, hugs at the door, he was there on Tuesday so it was worth the return visit. But seriously, how can I consume this much food in such a short time! I'm not sure what I was thinking after all the heavy food when I hit the bed, asking Kristen if she had anything chocolate in the house. Hershey morsels at midnight...who knew they could be so tasty!
Reunions...love them or not, they seem to roll around in all families. My mother's family is rather large, 7 brothers, which makes for a fairly large group of cousins, their children, in some cases their children's children and even another small generation beginning after that! Needless to say, through the years cousins moved, families extended and family, well, a lot of family literally has lost touch.
Of course we hear this and that through our own parents, but sadly we don't really know many of our cousins anymore.
My brother and I have been wanting to host a reunion with a push to get cousins in attendance for over a year, but busy schedules and logistics of where to have such an event kept it from happening.
I decided there was one day in December that I didn't already have a party, commitment, etc., :)...and we needed to schedule something. Boom - Bardin Family Reunion on the calendar!
Although busy holiday schedules wouldn't allow for all to attend, we had a great time and just a few tense moments.
Hosting with house guests proved to be quite entertaining. Let's just say my brother will need to stay elsewhere next visit! He likes to "rearrange" my things when he visits. Usually he will make a stack by my front door, but this visit he chose to put malt balls in the opening of decorative birdhouses, magnets hanging anywhere but the refrigerator, strainers on the pot rack, Santa upside down on kitchen counters...you name it, he did it.
I like to make videos, sweet, remember this videos. One problem is that I don't actually know how to do them. I always have to enlist the help of my children and usually my son.
Let's just say asking 70+ year old people to send pictures in .jpg format didn't exactly work out! He spent hours and hours scanning, cropping, pulling from funeral videos (not kidding). Needless to say, he was still putting the finishing touches on when the guests started to arrive and I was tying bows and raffia and handing them out as people left, ha.Still, the night was a lot of fun, the video was great, catching up and hopefully staying in touch was worth it all.
The night was complete with our personal photographer (thank you Tiffany). She came and took our photos. I was sending out an email early Sunday morning when shock turned to horror as I realized that the camera she took those pictures with had NO memory card! In an effort to update my photos and get Christmas cards printed I had taken it out and hadn't replaced it.
I was too exhausted to freak out so I just cried, a sad little cry. When Steve saw me he asked what was wrong, I told him and he looked more shocked than me. Probably afraid I would host again :)
Luckily he had the idea that my camera might have internal memory, and yes, praise Jesus it did! Pictures, there...all of them.
It really did all start because two people fell in love. My grandparents were amazing. My brother and I loved being with them, always. Places no longer there were favorites as kids...Red Colemans Convenience store, The Frisco (ice cream cones), The Delman Theatre, getting Avon gifts for Christmas every year (purchased from Ms. Boscoe) and my personal favorite Prince's Hamburgers. I spent many nights listening to my mother and grandmother talk while mother rolled her hair (bobbie pin style). I watched and did tricks in the den to try to get their attention (I outgrew that), but never outgrew loving and wanting to be with my grandparents.
Not only did they love each other, they loved their family, all of them and they loved Jesus more. They were a house of very limited income, but they obviously did something right because we never knew and we certainly never cared. Because they lived in faith and were faithful always, they passed down things money will never be able to buy. Love of God, morals, values, knowing right from wrong, treating others the way Jesus would, keeping what you need and giving the rest back...the good stuff. I am so thankful they were our beginning. Christmas got a little bit brighter...family matters, hold them close!
One good thing about not posting until after the fact is that it doesn't seem so silly posting about Christmas trees on December 1st! We got home from the Komen 3-day on a Sunday, I took Monday off and went directly into tree decorating on Tuesday. I worked pretty hard for several days. I always loved having the house look and feel like home when the kids came home from college and I guess we'll continue on with that tradition even though we no longer have kids in college. That seems extremely odd to me. Why did they have to grow up? I guess that's for another post!
I stumbled on a must have invention this year...a super little toe tapper switch that allows you to turn your trees/mantles on and off with the click of your toe! No more bending over trees and mantles or messing with timers - I love it!
Even though this process started several weeks ago, I put the finishing touches on the backyard just this evening! Officially in the Christmas spirit and ready to go. I am so thankful for our savior Jesus Christ, may we rejoice and celebrate Him this holiday season.
Crank up your favorite Christmas songs and get that decorating finished!
From our home to yours...Merry Christmas!
~May you find Jesus in the ordinary and may His love be enough~
Komen 3-day, Dallas, 60 miles, over 11 million raised. Hats off to everyone that showed up for us, for the cause of finding a cure for breast cancer - soon.
I'm keeping it short since I wrote a personal letter weeks ago...sorry blog.
In 2 words - thank you. 3 words - for showing up. You prayed for us, you sent cards, texts, you called, you gave, you came, you encouraged.
You, our friends, sustained us once again in the name of fighting cancer.
It was not easy, but it was worth it...every mile, every blister, every ache and pain - I literally hurt on the palm of my hands! No, I did not walk on my hands! I have no idea how I could hurt there, but I did, ha.
The look on people's faces told their personal story, no words spoken.
To our #1 crew chief, chauffeur and dear friend, Liz, aka, the Loj...thank you! You were a difference maker - we love you!
~May you find Jesus in the ordinary and may His love be enough~
Happily married for 34 years, living the dream....crazy dreams that is! So blessed to have 3 grown children, 2 son-in-laws, 1 daughter-in-law and 2 precious grandchildren. Nothing I enjoy more than spending time with my family. Grateful to be a cancer survivor and walk in gratitude for more, much more than I deserve. God is so good...my cup runneth over.