Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Belated Thoughts

I had such good intentions of writing much sooner than I have in regard to our Christmas celebration. In my mind I had things all written out, but then didn't get to the computer to put thought to screen.

I love Christmas. The thought of Christ's coming to earth is something that at times I have a hard time comprehending. Why would He do that? Does He really love us that much? In the quiet times of contemplation I am humbled by His love for me. And only when I see Him face to face, will I understand more fully how that all played out in my life.

I love Christmas Eve, the time with family, the candle light service at church, the children's faces lit by the candles. It has a certain magic about it.

But then I'm distracted by what has become one of the many Vinson traditions. It's the candles....and what the men in my life do with those candles during the service. I believe that it was Dale who first noticed years ago that when warmed by the hand the candles become very pliable. In fact they can be twisted, bent or curled into all sorts of shapes. Now, I understand the learning styles of my "boys" and that having something to do while listening is helpful at times. But NOW? While I'm listening to the story and message I am also trying not to take too much notice of the creativity that is in the hands of those next to me. Oh, man and Zach's sitting by the isle. How many rows back are people watching what he is doing? It soon has become a twisted candy cane! Am I the only one in my family who thinks this is a little out of place? Apparently!

We always get together with my Dad's side of the family. We rent a town hall because there's just too many of us for a house. It is often the one time of the year that I see some of my cousins and their kids. It is good to get caught up with them and try to remember all of their kid's names.
It is the one time of the year that I have "raw beef and onions on rye". I love it. I know that some of you might be going, "Yuck!" "Your taking your life in your hands." Well, if that's that only time I live dangerously, that's not too bad.

Then after the gifts are all opened and the kids are now running around with their noisy toys, someone begins the next tradition - the wrapping paper begins to fly! From across the room it comes.... look out! Soon paper is flying all over the place. Sometimes you're prepared for it, other times not. I felt bad for my Grandma when she would be there. She must have thought everyone was nuts.
And of course there were times when she would get hit also. "Oops, sorry Grandma."

Here is actual proof that Terry is one of the instigators.

Christmas Eve we spent a quiet night with Dale's Mom and Dad. Neither Sharyn & Al nor Lori & Gary could make it up this year. So Ed & Ruth flew out Christmas day to Sharyn & Al's. They spent a week there and were able to see their first great-grandson, Jacob Levi, son of Alia and Ryan.

Christmas day we spend at my Mom and Dad's.

There are always the brats and hamburgers for lunch with banana splits for dessert.
There is always lots of laughter. At the end of the day we have our eggnog toasts, where each of us, young and old alike, share something that we are thankful for from the past year or what we look forward to in the next. There are always tears. There are those that aren't with us - Daniel in Iraq and Josh & Lauren in Philly. They were all missed terribly. May next year find us all together again.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

A Belated Merry Christmas!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The One Who's "Stollen" My Heart

One Holiday food that I love is Christmas Stollen. But, I am the only one in my family who likes it. A few days before Christmas, Dale called around to different bakery shops in the area to find one that makes it. He left early Saturday morning while I was still sleeping to get my special treat for me. He then made coffee and brought me breakfast in bed on my Christmas dishes.
I was reminded of that last night as I was scrounging through my freezer. I found several slices that I had put away to enjoy on such a morning as this. While it was wrapped and thawing Dale looked at it and thought that it was a wrapped moldy taco. Probably just as delicious in his mind. But to me is was a sweet reminder of the "Sweetheart of All My Dreams" - the one who has "stollen" my heart - again.
Thank you, Honey!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thanksgiving in Philly

Catching Up Part 2
This Fall for the second time ever, we were not in Wisconsin for Thanksgiving. We flew to Philadelphia to spend it with Josh and Lauren. It was a fast but fun weekend. It was so good to see where they are living now. Zach was able to join us from the CMC in MA. He had been in NY City for school, so he took a bus from China Town, NY to China Town, Philly. It's much cheaper than going Greyhound, and I think maybe a little more interesting. We did get a desperate phone call earlier in the week as he was trying to find the station on foot carrying his bags and running out of time. He didn't think that anyone there spoke English. What a great thing Mapquest is. He did make it with not too much time so spare.
We all worked together to get Thanksgiving Dinner ready.
Lauren's Mom, Barb was able to join us, coming from Lancaster. It was so good to see her again.

The morning of Thanksgiving we walked to get a newspaper so that we could look for the sales fliers and plan our shopping on Fri. Lauren drove, as the 2 of us headed out together. We were very successful and made it home before the guys. It made it very interesting when the 5 of us were in one store and trying to buy things for each other. Had to keep a close eye out as the store wasn't too big.
Friday night and Saturday Christina was able to join us. We were glad that it worked out, especially Zach. Josh got their little tree out and we then speed decorated it. The goal was to get it done within 3 Christmas songs. The lights were put on first, but then..... GO! We almost made it - just a little into the 4th song. I don't know that we started a new tradition for them but it was something different and fun.

We have so much to be thankful for. I love it when we can all be together. But, being in Philly meant that I wasn't with my family back home. I really missed that also. These times together are precious to me.
I also missed our church's Thanksgiving service. It's a time when almost all of the service is God's people sharing the many things they are thankful for - how God has worked and how His people have come along side to minister. There are often tears as we "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep."
Thank you, Lord for the blessings of family - ours & yours.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Catching Up

Wow, I'm so far behind I don't know where to begin. So I'll start the farthest back.

In October, Cornerstone University (which is Zach's school) had a parent's weekend. So, even though Zach spent the semester on Martha's Vineyard at the Contemporary Music Center, Dale and I decided to head to Grand Rapids. One of the fun things that we did was to use a skydiving simulator. It was awesome! But, we do look rather funny. "Just arch your back and fall forward..." - over a mesh area from which a powerful motor blew air at very high speeds lifting us up.

It was a fun experience. We figured, "When are we ever going to have a chance to do that again." And it was cheaper and safer than the "real thing".

We also went to a concert by Bebo Norman and Shane & Shane. It was more worship than concert. We had a Shane & Shane CD from a few years back when they played at PBU where Josh was. They are starting to get some radio air time now. Both groups had very humble hearts and an obvious love of God. It was a blessing to be there.
We also met Christina, Zach's girlfriend, for supper. So that was nice to get together - missed you, Zach.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

There's no other option

"My surgeon, Dr. Alexandria Heerdt, is waiting inside, and I'm relieved by the sight of a friendly smile. "How are you doing, Deanna?" she asks, her voice slightly muffled by her mask.
I'd like to answer, but I'm distracted by the nurse who seems determined to jab a hole into the back of my left hand. She's trying to start an IV for the anesthetic, but few nurses have ever been able to find a vein on my left side.
"Try my right hand," I say, anxiety welling up in my throat......

Hands lift my left arm and slip a blood-pressure cuff around my biceps. Other hands press electrocardiograph monitors to my chest and tape them in place. My fingertip feels a light pinch as hands position the clip that will measure my blood oxygen levels.

I try to look for my doctor, but my heavy eyelids have frozen shut.

Somewhere in the darkness, hands have adjusted the IV that is pouring anesthetic into my body, numbing all sensation.

My skin contracts in another slow shiver.

Why didn't they tell me I'd be so cold?

The surgeon will soon take her chilly scalpel and open my breast, removing the cancer that threatens my life...."

"Don't Bet Against Me" - by Deanna Favre

I was only in the prologue of this book, sitting in the commons at South High School where I work.
It was lunch and the room is filled with students.
I stop reading because the tears are ready to fall.
It was there that I decided that somehow I would be at my Mom's side down in Florida when she has her surgery.

There's no other option.