Saturday, December 31, 2005

Interim Days

The days between Christmas and New Years are days for:

finally reading all the Christmas magazines I bought
staring into the lights on the tree and remembering past Christmases
cashing in gift cards (Davis Kidd and I thank you BST and Sheryl)
finding bargains on Christmas stuff at Target(I found some ornaments that were duplicates of those my mom and dad had on our tree)
enjoying the whole aura of the Christmas season punctuated by the looks and sounds of children who still believe
looking through Christmas cards and wondering how the children of friends can grow up so fast
Reveling in the good life that God has given me at this time of my life.

Thank you Father for the warm circle of family and friends this last day in 2005.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Christmas at Potosi

Christmas at Potosi began the last day of school when Sam came home with boxes of goodie gifts like cakes, candy, cookies, etc.

Because Sam was a little boy at heart, Christmas was a big deal at our house. Stockings filled to the brim, lights outside, wonderfully decorated tree. He got so much fun from choosing the right gift for Brandon. The Christmas Brandon got his go-cart, Sam made him go from place to place suffering through a series of hints, until finally he got to the big gift in the garage.

When we were home, our menu was virtually the same every year. Turkey and Cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, fruit salad, jellied cranberry sauce, and various cakes.

We were sometimes in either Groesbeck, Pasadena or Hamlin for a portion of the holidays, but the best Christmases were in Potosi.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Christmas moments

My computer has had a glitch for the past few days, sorry, but I will continue Christmas thoughts that I want to keep.

Best moments of Christmas:

Watching the girls putting out oats for the reindeer
Seeing Ella's delight at her new baby doll. At church that morning, as the other kids sat around the story teller, Ella chose to sit at the lip of the stage looking at the audience. She had the baby doll in her arms and wore such a beatific smile, I wanted a picture.
Maddie playing with her Mulan doll and changing her clothes four times every 15 minutes.
Watching Brandon wrapping the huge box full of balloons broadcasting that the family was going to Disney after New year's. He looked so much like Sam, it caught my breath.
Seeing Sheryl's delight with her digital tape recorder on which she caught Ella singing Away in a Manger and Tinkle, Tinkle Little Star.

And my delight in being here to help ready Santa, and celebrate the next morning.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


We have had so many good experiences the past few days, it is hard to say which was best: The Otter Christmas Concert, the Rockettes, or driving around Nashville looking at the amazing lights with friends and relatives. All of it was a treat! Thank you God for good memorable times with the people we love.

God is great and worth a thousand Hallelujahs! Ps. 96:4 The Message.

Indeed, ten thousand hallelujahs! If you have not read or heard Amazing Peace, A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou, please get one. It is only $9.95 and a great stocking stuffer. As always, Angelou brings a lump to my throat as I read. The last verse:

"We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves,
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation:

Peace, my brother.
Peace, my sister.
Peace, my Soul.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Paise Him

The whole earth comes to attention.
Look--God's work of salvation!

Shout your praises to God, everybody!
Let loose and sing! Strike up the band!

Round up an orchestra to play for God,
Add a hundred voice choir.

Feature trumpets and big trombones,
Fill the air with praises to King God.

Psalm 98: 4-7 The Message

That sounds a lot like the Living Nativity Scene I saw last night at the Rockette show. It was gorgeous--the only word I can think of. Beautiful kingly costumes ( I have never seen the three kings dressed so magnificently. Camels, sheep, shepherds, stately processions, gifts, and----a manger in straw surrounded by Mary and Joseph who were also worshipping Him. Praise God for the gift of His Son.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Remembering past Christmases as I put final touches on wrapping, etc., I remember the visits to my grandmother's house in Abilene. Granny Tucker was a younger grandmother than I am although she seemed old at the time. I have still not figured out how my parents got our presents (especially the bikes) to her house. The Christmas we all got bikes is a standout Christmas. I still remember my Dad running along side of me as I went down a hill on my new bike.

Those Christmases there were eating holidays!!That is mostly what we did. Granny loved making candy--especially date loaf candy ( which I have never eaten since). A special cake she would only make on Christmas was a four layer (yes-4) Pecan Cake. It had pecans throughout, and a pecan praline frosting that was sumptious and covered with whole pecans. It took a while to eat the huge thing--but we slurped every piece. It was especially good with cold milk. I have never been able to make a 4 layer--but I have done 13x 9's. Not the same , but close. I am mourning the lack of good pecans here. But I will make one before the winter is over--can't do without it.

The table was already covered with food when the aunts and uncles got there bringing
their special dishes. Granny loved making "Coke" salad for the occasion too. I remember one aunt always brought sweet potatoes with cherries. My mother always contributed either her fresh coconut cake (yum) or her date cake and of course, there were many vegetables (my mom's macroni and cheese was to die for).and salads. When we finished, a tablecloth was put over the food (couldn't get it all in the fridge) and we picked on it all afternoon--what a delight.

We cousins spent the time playing hide and seek in Granny's back porch and garage. When the sun went down, warm up of the food would begin (it took a while, no microwaves then)and we would all dive into Supper like we had not eaten in two weeks.

It seemed like paradise--and maybe it was.

Got to go check the recipe box for what I can cook next weekend.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Point of Light

I loved former Pres. Bush's project several years ago--A Thousand Points of Light in which ordinary folks making a difference in the world were rewarded. This past
Friday's Tennessean told the story of a 13-year old girl here in Nashville who deserves the award.

She felt that God was putting in her heart the urge to do something for the homeless. (She volunteers at our Nashville Rescue Center where the homeless go.) She told her parents that this project was all she wanted for Christmas. So she took her savings, held bakesales, etc. and spent $3,000.00 to do this for ten homeless men last week:

They were all taken to Uncle Dave's and given a huge barbeque dinner where she asked them to share their Christmas memories (most had none). Then in a stretch limo, they were driven around Nashville to see Christmas lights starting first at the famous Opryland Hotel. (None of the men had ever seen the lights there.) Arriving back at the center, she gave each man a bag filled with hygenic necessities, sweat shirts, gloves, etc.

The men were enthralled with the lights and the whole experience and the fact that a young girl would do that for them. Such a simple thing--but the photographs of the men looking at the lights were poignant and heart-tugging.

Let us all be hospitable to someone this week following her and the example of Jesus as we try to serve others in this season of "I Want...."

Saturday, December 17, 2005


I was privileged to attend the Point of Grace Winter Wonderland concert Wednesday night. In a previous blog, I reviewed their CD project for the tour--excellent.

The concert was in Christ Church on Old Hickory--holds about 3,000 people. It was packed with chairs in the aisle. The stage was beaufifully decorated with white Christmas trees, a sleigh and cotton snow. Very festive.

The concert itself was God and family based--half of the concert was performed with the Christ Church choir. My favorite moment was when the girls called their children up on stage--all dressed in red flannel pjs. So cute! And then they called all children in the audience from ages 4-10 up to sing a song with them. Surely one of the highlights for those children. The biggest applause of the evening came when POG sang "In the First Light" accapella.

As a side note, I had not been there 30 minutes when a member at Christ Church asked if I was a member and then began telling me about the church. She even left to go get class information, the mission statement, and other print materials. Impressive.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

One year

One year ago today, I became an official resident of Tennessee. It hardly seems possible. 525,600 minutes--how does one measure a year? I have measured it with new adventures, new friends, new church, new grandchild, new beginnings.

It has been a wonderful year--I think my blog attests to that. And again--I am so glad I moved. Of course, I miss my friends and Highland, but one cannot go back there--one can only go forward.

Christmas preparation has stolen my blog moments. Try to do better!

Today was the Christmas program for Maddie and Ella--all the kids were so cute in all their Christmas finery. I will repeat what Beth Williamson said, "There is probably 1/2 million dollars worth of video and digital cameras in this room." It is fun to see Brandon take pictures in abundance like his father did.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Disney's The Chronicles of Narnia is in a word: superb. As much as I can remember, it is very close to the book in its adaptation. There were so many scenes which were thrilling. The one that gave me chills was when the girls went up to the table to comfort the already dead Aslan. Shades of the Marys! So powerful. The crucifixation/slaughter scene was handled very tastefully, but packed a sharp punch.

Not for very young children, I think. The wolves and ogres are very scary, but Everbody Else must see it. I would like to see it again soon.

Friday, December 09, 2005

To celebrate or not to celebrate

I may ruffle a few feathers with this one--just being honest here,however. I don't understand Christians who don't believe in celebrating Christmas. When most of the world is focused on Christ, why turn away? Oh, I know, we often focus more on presents than giving and on spending than the birth. That is not my point.

When I was in high school, a very strong church family decided that celebrating Christmas was wrong. They gave no presents, had no tree nor any decorations, and went out of their way to tell others how wrong they were to join the world in celebrating a secular holiday. That puzzled me then and still does.

Celebration is just another form of thankfulness. Why are we so afraid of celebration? If the world is joined in celebrating the One we love and follow, must we refuse to do so and appear strange and quirky? And if you reply that the world really does not understand what or who they are celebrating--maybe they need a little tutelage from those of us who are steeped in the meaning of the Incarnation. In their last issue, The Christian Chronicle interviewed a woman who said she was known to walk out of a worship service when they sang Silent Night in December. She felt it should be sung all through the year, and perhaps she is right--we do need to celebrate the birth of Christ more than one time a year. Another interviewee said that she felt that churches who put up trees, sang "Christmas" songs, etc. were participating in the "secularization of the church." Do sound systems, song books, Power Point, and radio and TV programs count in that too?

The Incarnation is too important to miss. It may well be the most caring thing God ever did for His creation outside of the death of His son, and I think it is well worth celebrating any time of the year.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Silent night, holy night

I reviewed several children's books about this old Christmas hymn today at book club.
One book tells the story of the 1914 Christmas truce.It seems that late in December, fighting had slowed, and soldiers began to celebrate their commonality--observing Christmas by singing carols and lighting Tannenbaums along the trenches. As the English line was singing Silent Night, Holy Night, the Germans began to cross the lines to hear this "old familiar Austrian tune." Before the Christmas celebration was over, the boys played soccer in No Man's Land, shared their food with one another and had a joint prayer service honoring their dead whom they buried in the dark frozen ground side by side. Knowing that man had devised tools of war for that conflict that would kill more soldiers (10 million before the war was over), I could not help but think about the bombs the insurgents are using to kill our boys (most of whom were not more than 20 years old (much like their WWI counterparts). God, we sorely need Silent Night, Holy Night once more, please!!!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's time to end it

The 17th soldier from Fort Campbell (just down the road in Kentucky) was killed on Saturday. The 17th in two weeks!

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired,signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, from those who are cold and not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
Dwight David Eishenhower

Looking at the situation in New Orleans, and the fact that the Metro School Board is considering cutting millions in the education of its children (including all art, music and P. E. teachers!) this is not a time to be spending 1/2 million dollars on a fortified hummer. We must keep those who are there safe, I agree, but it is time to end it all now. What a gift for Christmas that would be.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Mary's Story

As we hear the story of Christ's birth over and over in this season, I am thinking of Mary, the mother of the Son of God. This is story I wrote several years ago. I want to save it for Maddie, Ella and Sam.

Mary's Story

He cried softly. Mary sighed and raised her head. Smiling, she rocked the Son of God in her arms.

As he began to scream, she thought, "Why did I say 'yes' to that angel? Where is Gabriel now? Where are those shepherds and kings? What am I doing in this smelly, dark place?"

Then as she fed him, Mary reflected, "I am blessed among all women--I am the mother of a baby unlike any other child--one truly come from God, and here he is in my arms: red-faced, squirming, hungry." She asked herself, "How can a mere girl like me guide this God-child?"

Like all mothers, she pondered in her heart what would become of him. She anticipated his growth in mind and body. What would be his first word? When would he walk? Would he be a good student? Will he be tall and handsome? Will he have my eyes and nose? What will others think of him? How would he and Joseph get along? Would he become a carpenter or a rabbi? Her heart catching, she thought, someday, he will leave my house for the last time. She did not know that one dark day his dripping blood would stain her robe as she stood at the cross.

Weary of thinking, Mary bowed her head and whispered, "God has done mighty things for me. Holy is his name." Stroking the hair of Jesus, she yielded herself and her baby to God his father.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Tinkle, tinkle little star

Last night was movie night at the Thomas house. We watched the Wizard of Oz showing on TNT. Maddie wanted to fast forward a certain part--not possible in network land.

We were also entertained with Ella's rendition of "Tinkle, Tinkle" Little Star--on pitch and word for word. Pretty good for age 2 almost 3. I think I have mentioned before that we have Brandon on cassette singing the same song at age 2--intersperced every now and then with the words "let me hold it (microphone)", "let me hold it." Ever the performer, even then.

This morning the church at Otter honored Brandon for his 10 years of service there.
The comments were gratifying for a mother to hear. I am glad I was there.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Three Wishes

Every now and then, networks add programming that is worthwhile for family viewing. Three Wishes, added by NBC this year, is such a program. It is a bright spot on Friday night and is a good show for all the family to sit down, watch and count their blessings.

This week NBC announced they were not buying any more episodes--tantamount to cancelling the program. They had announced earlier last month that the show would be carried. The network cited budget constraints as their reason. Why don't they drop one of the many sleazy shows they carry instead? I don't know.

If you agree that the show is worth saving, please e-mail NBC at : to complain. Maybe we can save this one.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Silly Christmas songs

A local radio station is sponsoring a contest about silly Christmas songs. Some winners from the past include: I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, etc.

I like the hippo song. What is your favorite Silly Christmas song?

P. S. I understand there is a whole album featuring Christmas cows.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Babies R Us

I visited Babies R Us today to find Sam an "exersaucer". (No,I had never heard of one either.) There were so many choices!!! from the Ford to Cadillac.

I was struck as I watched the shoppers. They were having so much fun--grandmothers shopping for just the right look in clothing; fathers shopping the sports-themed gear; mothers acting as moderators. This was a store where the holiday spirit reigned. I could have stayed all day, but other errands called.