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Saturday, December 24, 2011

100 Joys ~ #18 - #26 ~Unexpected Kindness to Amazing Musical Leadership





Joy # 18 - #26

Found my 18th Joy this past Wednesday.  Andy, Sam and I ran out to grab a quick bite to eat this past Wednesday before bell and choir practice.  We were all running our separate ways and I hadn't gotten dinner ready at home and time was running out.  We quickly ran out of the house and went to Zaxby's.  We ordered our dinners and when it was time to pay Andy reached for his wallet and realized that in his rush to change clothes that he had left his wallet on his night stand.  I had a bag full of things to take to church and I had grabbed it and not my purse.  We told the lady that Andy would run home and grab his wallet and would be right back.  She said that this was an early Christmas present and bought our dinner.  Granted she was the Assistant Manager but it was something that she didn't need to do.  We thanked her and enjoyed one of the best dinners.  There really are nice people out there.

Today is Christmas Eve and Joy #19 is the fact that God sent his only son to be born.  Can't get more joyful than that.



Joy #20 is a bittersweet joy.  As most of you know one of my best friends passed away this year.  This is the first Christmas without her.  I missed her terribly every day.  But today it is hitting me really hard.  But I'm joyful that I had the time that I did have to be her friend.


Joy #21 is seeing my son love his cat unconditionally.

Joy #22 is decorating my house for Christmas.  I love snowmen and use them around the house.  Here are a few:




Joy #23....Santa is coming and the stocking is already stuffed for me to put up later tonight and the presents are wrapped.



Joy #24....FRIENDS!

Joy #25 is this sign....LOVE IT!

Joy #26...Is the Music Ministry staff.  They are an amazing group of people and I'm blest that they are in our lives.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

iCaughtSanta.com ~ Catch Santa At Your House

If Sam was younger and still believed in Santa I would do this in a heartbeat!  But, alas, this year he announced that he knows it is us.  But for those of you that have children that still believe in Santa, you know that I personally do, here is a great deal!  Check it out!

You can only imagine the look of wonder and surprise when a child receives a photo of Santa caught in the act in his or her very own home. iCaughtSanta.com is a unique website that helps visitors create those memorable keepsake photos.

In three simple steps anyone can upload your own holiday photo, add Santa Claus and print it as proof… or share it via Facebook and Twitter. Last-minute shoppers can purchase Gift Cards and eGift Certificates for loved ones with children, making iCaughtSanta.com a great gift idea even if you don't have kids yourself.

Need more enticing?  Here's a 50% off code for you! Just enter: SANTA50 and get your entire order for 1/2 price!


Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

100 Joys ~ #17 ~ Wordless and Wordful Wednesday ~ After the Storm





Joy # 17
Yesterday I went out grocery shopping with Andy.  We really did try to beat the storms that were headed our way.  But it didn't work.  I even complained a little bit on Facebook.  Here's what I wrote, "Cold and wet. Tried to do the grocery shopping before the squall line of rain/storms hit. Didn't make it. But it's done!"  Let me tell you...we really were soaked!  But after the complaining, drying ourselves off, getting dinner started, Sam yelled downstairs...do you see the sunset?  Well, I really hadn't looked.  I thought it was still pouring rain.  It had stopped and what we saw afterwards was just breathtaking!  This is my 17th Joy of the season.





What are your 100 Joys this Season?  What joy is God putting  in front  of you to see?  Blog about your 100 Joys and come back here  every  Sunday to link up!

Don't forget to enter the book giveaway!  I draw the winner tomorrow and I only have a few entries.  

To see more Wordless and Wordful photos head on over to Wordless Wednesday and J. Leigh Designz.

Live and Love...Out Loud 5 Minutes for Momparenting BY dummies
and then, she {snapped}NapTime MomTog

Please take a moment to link up and don't forget to leave a comment.

100 Joys ~ #16 ~ Tasty Tuesday ~ Chicken Noodle Casserole





Joy # 16





My 16th Joy comes weekly.  I don't participate as much as I'd like to and I hope that will change.  But life comes first.  I love to cook and bake for my family and seeing them enjoy what I make gives me great joy.

It's Tuesday and time to jump on the Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop. If you've never participated before it's a lot of fun. Just head on over to 33 Shades of Green to see what it's all about. You can link up there, here or on anyone that has the blog hop on their post! It's a great way to find new recipes!

I've shared this one before but it's going into the oven tonight!  For this time of year it's not only a great main dish but also a fantastic side dish as well.  Thinking that I might make it again next week when my family is in town.

Here are the ingredients in the pan before the soup and milk were added and after.  The third picture was one taken the last time we had it.  Delicious!
 



Chicken Noodle Casserole

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups chicken (or turkey), cooked and cubed
2 cups elbow macaroni, not cooked
2 cups milk
2 cans condensed cream of celery soup
1 cup cubed processed cheese
2 cups onions, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a 9x13 baking dish combine the chicken, macaroni, milk, soup, cheese, and onions.  Mix all together, cover the dish and let it sit over night in the refrigerator.  If not overnight at least 6 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F.

MY NOTES:

Mix the soup and milk together before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.  This may be a basic and simple recipe but don't let that deceive you.  It's AMAZING!  Feel free to change the meat, add veggies or change things up a bit.  But the main key to this recipe is letting it all sit together for at least 6 hours.  If you make this one I implore you to make it as it appears here first before you change it up.  ENJOY!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

100 Joys ~ #15 ~ Flash Mob





Joy # 15

Found my 15th Joy this evening after a long day up at church and attending our Hand Bell Christmas Party.  Came home, sat down to my computer and found this front and center on Facebook.  It's nice to see this being shared around.  Be sure to watch it all the way through and have some tissues.  Watch the crowd and see their Joyful reactions.  Who has brought you Joy?



What are your 100 Joys this Season?  What joy is God putting  in front  of you to see?  Blog about your 100 Joys and come back here  every  Sunday to link up!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

100 Joys ~ #11- #14 ~ Friends, Inspiration, Crafts and Cats





Joys # 11-#14

My 11th has been in the works for over a year.  One of my best friends, Beth, is teaching Sam the piano and in return I'm teaching her how to sew, knit and crochet.  Last year I taught her sewing and this year I'm teaching her how to crochet.  The joy in her eyes and face as soon as she finished her first scarf was priceless.  Today I taught her how to make a Granny Square.



My 12th Joy isn't one that I can take a picture of...at least not yet.  Since this past March I've slowly lost weight.  Not as much as I would have wished, only 20 pounds, but it's a start.  Beth and my sister, Amy, have lost quite a bit of weight and have really made themselves healthier.  They have become my inspiration to continue this journey to lose my weight and to have a healthier lifestyle.

My 13th Joy is crafting in general.  I make a few things for myself but everything else is for others.  Because the joy of making and giving is an amazing feeling.


My 14th Joy is one of our cats.  Yesterday evening, when the sun was starting to set, he was sitting by our Christmas tree and watching the birds out the window.  It took me several tries to get his attention but he finally turned around so that I could take his picture.  This cat has no shame.  No matter who comes into this house he'll be all over them.  Giving them his unconditional love, no matter what.  That's how we all should be.


What are your 100 Joys this Season?  What joy is God putting  in front  of you to see?  Blog about your 100 Joys and come back here  every  Sunday to link up!

Sign the Linky below so we all can share in the Joy of this Season!

Friday, December 16, 2011

100 Joys ~ #10~ Unexpected Gifts





Joy # 10

My tenth joy arrived yesterday afternoon. As most of you know I am a Crossing Guard.  There is a Grandmother that picks up her Granddaughter every day.  We wave to each other and wish each other well.  Yesterday she pulled up, rolled down her window, we both wished each other a Merry Christmas and then she help up two beautifully wrapped Christmas presents.  It was a wonderful Joy as it was a very cold and rainy day.  I even loved who she addressed it to.  So sweet and unexpected.  Who has brought you Joy?

What are your 100 Joys this Season?  What joy is God putting  in front  of you to see?  Blog about your 100 Joys and come back here  every  Sunday to link up!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

100 Joys ~ #9~ Children's Team (plus video)





Joy #9

My ninth joy arrived in my inbox this afternoon.  I immediately sat Sam down (as per instructed in the email) and watched the below video from the Children's Team at our church, First United Methodist Church, Mansfield, TX.  Watch it and have a little giggle and know that this amazing team has helped my son grow up to be the wonderful Christian that he is.  Thanks Team!  This is definitely a joy!

What are your 100 Joys this Season?  What joy is God putting  in front  of you to see?  Blog about your 100 Joys and come back here  every  Sunday to link up!

First Place Kids Team Christmas Card from First Methodist Mansfield on Vimeo.

Night of the Living Dead Christian ~ Book Review & Giveaway

Now is your chance to win an AWESOME book!  Read all about it below, watch the author speak about it in his video, and then enter a comment for a chance to win....easy peasy!  I'll announce a winner on Dec 22nd.


I've had the awesome pleasure of reading and reviewing Night of the Living Dead Christian: One Man's Ferociously Funny Quest to Discover What it Means to be Truly Transformed by Matt Mikalatos. I found myself laughing out loud many times as I was reading. It was a book that was hard to put down.  Even the cover art is comical.

From the back cover:
In his follow-up to the critically acclaimed Imaginary Jesus, Matt Mikalatos tackles this question in an entertaining and thought-provoking way—with MONSTERS!!! While Christians claim to experience Christ’s resurrection power, we sometimes act like werewolves who can’t control our base desires. Or zombies, experiencing a resurrection that is 90 percent shambling death and 10 percent life. Or vampires, satiating ourselves at the expense of others. But through it all we long to stop being monsters and become truly human—the way Christ intended. We just can’t seem to figure out how.

Night of the Living Dead Christian is the story of Luther, a werewolf on the run, whose inner beast has driven him dangerously close to losing everything that matters. Desperate to conquer his dark side, Luther joins forces with Matt to find someone who can help. Yet their time is running out. A powerful and mysterious man is on their trail, determined to kill the wolf at all costs . . .

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Night of the Living Dead Christian is a spiritual allegory that boldly explores the monstrous underpinnings of our nature and tackles head-on the question of how we can ever hope to become truly transformed.


My Review:
Matt Mikalatos is an author that uses monsters to look at our reality of our sin nature and the things we wrestle with in our own world.  This story follows Matt and his neighbor Luther, a werewolf.  They work with an interesting band of monsters that are trying to figure out how to be real people. Mikalatos uses vampires, zombies, a mad scientist, an android and a monster hunter to teach truth. You do, however, need to know that this is not a scary book or a horror novel.

Night of the Living Dead Christian creatively, and often hysterically, written. Mikalatos speaks what many of us think. Each of us can identify with at least one of the monsters in this book...maybe not every aspect of the monster but at least some. The zombies are the undead just agreeing with every theological utterance that comes out of the preacher's mouth but they are mindless. Vampires are the opposite of what Christ is all about. They take blood from people to gain eternal life instead living for others. Serious issues all addressed in a humorous and real way. The reality is we are all monsters who can only be transformed through faith in Christ.

I love that this book even includes discussion questions in the back along with A Layman's Self-Diagnosis Guide to Common Monstrosities and an Interview with the Author.

Follow Matt Mikalatos on Twitter, Facebook and his Blog.  I am!

Tyndale House Publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.  All opinions of this book are my own.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

100 Joys ~ #7 & #8 ~ Cards and Shows





Joy # 7 & 8

Joy #7...I love sending out Christmas Cards but I haven't been able to the past few years. This year I blogged for my cards. How cool is that! They arrived the other day after I pondered over the hundreds of choices for our card. I started addressing them the other night and then realized that I could hand deliver a big bunch of them.



Joy #8...Watching the older Christmas shows always brings back great memories. And watching them with my son year after year is creating even more memories. I hope that one year he'll be able to sit down with his children and watch these shows and remember when we used to do so ourselves.



And what is best part of Joys #7 & #8 ?  The fact that I did them on the same evening.  Addressing Christmas Cards and watching Christmas specials with my son...priceless!

What are your 100 Joys this Season?  What joy is God putting in front of you to see?  Blog about your 100 Joys and come back here every Sunday to link up!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wordless & Wordful Wednesday ~ 100 Joys ~ #6





Joy #6 of this holiday season is more of a smell than it is a visual.  But it's kind of hard to put a smell on this blog.  So instead here is a picture of this particular smell.  Peppermint! What are your 100 Joys this Season?  What joy is God putting in front of you to see?  Blog about your 100 Joys and come back here every Sunday to link up!


To see more Wordless and Wordful photos head on over to Wordless Wednesday and J. Leigh Designz.

Live and Love...Out Loud 5 Minutes for Momparenting BY dummies
and then, she {snapped}NapTime MomTog

Please take a moment to link up and don't forget to leave a comment.

Monday, December 12, 2011

100 Joys ~ #5~ New Ornaments





Joy #5

I love to create new ornaments every year.  But there have been some years where I just haven't gotten around to it.  This year, however, was not one of them.  I have made some Salt Dough Ornaments this year.  They are super easy to make and you can decorate them in so many ways.  This is definitely a recipe that the kids can help mix together, cut out and decorate.  And trust me...they will bring you lots of joy!


I found the recipe here: BHG.  They have great ideas if you ever need them.  All you need is 1/2 cup Salt, 1 cup Flour and 1/2 cup Water.  Mix these ingredients until sticky.  Roll until it's about 1/4 inch thick and cut out snowflake shapes with cookie cutters Or another other cookie cutter shape that you want.  You can even freehand them as well. Don't forget to use a skewer to press a hole for hanging. Bake for 4 hours in a 200 degree oven. When cool, draw hearts, squiggles, and dots with a marking pen.  I'll take pictures later with the others that I've decorated.


 

What are your 100 Joys this Season?  What joy is God putting in front of you to see?  Blog about your 100 Joys and come back here every Sunday to link up!
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