Saturday, November 5, 2011

Its a Mystery!

Its been 2 years ago now that I decided to have a mystery dinner for the grandma club. I went with a fairy tale mystery, "Mystery in the Library" by Stephanie Chambers taken from the web site  This was my son's suggestion after successfully throwing his own mystery dinner.
The website gives you all the suggestions you need to make your dinner a complete success; from decorations, to costume ideas and menu items.
Each couple that was invited was given the name of a  fairy tale character and had to come to the party in costume. We had a sit down dinner of which each couple brought a delectable contribution. We had poison caramel to dip our apples in (Snow White), a main course of sausage and potatoes( Robin Hood), and a dessert cake that said "Eat Me" on it(Alice in Wonderland) just to name a few of the delicious menu items.
There was, of course, a character who committed a crime. As each  character took turns reading their part in the play and adding a little ad lib throughout the 4 course meal, clues were being revealed. At the end of the play anyone could guess who the criminal was! The correct answer took home a grand prize! Well maybe just a prize.


It was fun and delicious! The best part of the evening was answering the door to the surprise of seeing each of our friends who had transformed themselves into playful, magnificent fairy tale characters!
And by the way...the butler didn't do it!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Check it off the List, Please!

Who doesn't love a check list. There's something about marking off that chore, that duty, that errand, that event that is so satisfying.
When my 2 boys were little I met a woman who had 6 children. Each Sunday they would trek across the church campus all dressed alike in their Sunday best....the tallest and oldest at the front down to the little one, appropriately a girl, delicate and small compared to her 5 older brothers. . Mama duck and her ducklings following behind in waddle fashion. She was beautiful, her husband was handsome and her kids were groomed and immaculate. You couldn't help but ask "how does she do it?" Well that was a question that never was fully answered, but she did share with some of us about her infamous job board!
Definition of job board- a handmade schedule organizer with adorable pictures of jobs to be completed by each child
I dug out the old photo copies and the instructions I used to create the job board so long ago for my 2 young sons. I called my friend (archive blog post- friends that last a lifetime) and asked her if she remembered us making those boards together.
"Of course!" she said, " I've already given the photo copies to my girls and they are cleaning them up and updating them for their kids!"
Perfect! Lucky me....I was able to glean from those young girls efforts to upgrade the photos. Thank you girls!

Of course the gorgeous grandmas got together and came up with some of their own versions of the job board!

If you would like to see the tutorial on how to make the job board go to my blog list and click on my friends  blog spot "Cultivated Lives" Then click on her archives tutorial for job board!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

No Greater Love

It was one of those fun nights watching, playing with, indulging in one of those "no, you can't have that now" desserts, bathing and tucking in those adorable grandchildren of ours. Babysitting  was never my favorite job as a young teenager. I made money and that was the extent of my motivation to spend time with little children. But babysitting my grandchildren!..nothing compares to their unconditional love ...or (wait...)maybe it is conditional based on one of those "no, you can't have that now "desserts :)
After granddad prayed for each grandchild and tucked them in to bed, our grandson asked if Go Go would come in. Of course! He never wanted me in there before, just granddad. Granddad did it right,...the routine:) I gingerly bounded (oxy-moron?) into the room and sat on the edge of my grandson's bed. My granddaughter standing up in her crib was watching, checking out what would happen next.

"Go Go? Why does granddad say in Jesus Name?"
Because he is praying for you.
"Who is Jesus?"
You know who Jesus is.
"Is He like Go Go or granddad?"

O, I smiled when he said that, but I knew Jesus was nothing like me or granddad.

No, He's better than a Go Go or a granddad! He loves you very much and gave his life for you.

My 4 year old grandson somehow had compared his grandparents love for him with the person of Jesus. Does that bless me...yes ,but  I know there is a battle with a selfish strong man inside of me of which Jesus overcame at the cross. How do you explain that to a little child. I guess it doesn't matter. Our daily lives allow Mr. Strongman to raise his ugly head more often than we would like and creates a teachable moment  to show how and why we surrender to the One who defeated that strongman.  Jesus reminds us by his Holy Spirit that He is love. I pray that this is who my grandson sees in his grandparents.... a transformed life through Jesus Christ.

 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Thank you Jesus

Friday, April 1, 2011

Can an Old Dog Learn New Tricks

Who hasn't  heard the phrase "Can an old dog learn new tricks"? Applying this phrase to man's best friend, I'm sure we all have nodded our heads or sighed with hopelessness.  If you believe this for a dog you might just be correct, but the other side of the coin is applying this saying to a person. Have you ever used it to describe that stubborn somebody in your life or maybe you have used it as an excuse for your own bad behaviour.! I confess I have.  Have you ever said " That's just the way I am" or "that's the way I was raised" How about  "If my parents hadn't gotten a divorce" or "He'll always be irresponsible. Everyone bails him out" No doubt, there are things that have traumatic lifetime affects on us. Some circumstances of life do not lend to the ingredients that develop emotional and social wholeness.
 I have good news..  there is Hope for all of us.  An "old dog" CAN learn new tricks!...enter a man.... A God Man.... a supernaturally natural man who can transform lives!
Jesus came to set the captives free....He's not kidding.. this is not a joke or a great idea someone came up with...this is Truth!
It is a simple opportunity that can lend to a life time of wholeness, loving others and enjoying life....having someone to lean on when things get tough.
Jesus is not an instant formula to our character flaws but he does say in Roman 12:2 to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. His Word, the Bible, gives us Truth about who we really are. Colossians 3:10 tells us we can be renewed to the True Knowledge of the One who created us. I don't know how it all works but I do  know that when I surrender that part of me that is selfish and self-seeking and I tell Him I want to change He does it! In His perfect timing He changes my sinful behaviour into a compassionate understanding for others. Somehow He removes my desire for "my own way" and gives me a compassion and love for "His way" which always leads to Life in me and those around me. Thank you Jesus that I do not have to stay in my destructive unhappy habits.
I have heard that you can change a habit in 21 days or maybe its 6 weeks. I'm sure that could be true. But the difference is that when you do something in your own will power it is very likely to be temporal. When Jesus changes me it is eternal. He said the kingdoms of this world are now the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever, Revelation 11:15
So receive Him and what He has done for you and let Him transform your life into something way beyond what you can think or imagine!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

He Came to Give Us Life!

Happy 2011! Time sure flys! It seems like yesterday that we were storing food and water for the turn of the century melt down!
I listened to a podcast the other day where the person said "Why is January in such a big hurry!" Yes and Feb., March, ect. seem to follow suit. Before you know it it will be Christmas again!
Ahhh but there is a very slow time when the summer months of June, July, August and Sept seem to crawl through time. These are the hottest months of the year in Arizona and it feels like you will never be able to put on a sweater again in your lifetime:) You keep looking way off in the distance to the day when things will change. When you don't have to touch a hot steering wheel or end up jumping from grassy spot to grassy spot to get your mail cuz you figured you'd just run out to the mailbox for a second with no shoes. You keep dreaming about that far away tropical island where the weather remains constant..But you make it through the heat one more time... By the time the calendar states that officially Fall has arrived there is an excitement and anticipation of being able to snuggle in your comforter at night, have a fire in the fireplace and drink hot tea in the early morning. But that's all it anticipation because you are still sweating at night with no covers on. It does actually manifest itself, though, around Thanksgiving. Then after the New Year you start to savor every moment of cool air because you know record breaking temperatures are right around the corner.
So my point? Such is the analogy of the seasons of life. I guess at my age I have learned to savor everyday. I am excited to get out bed every morning. Just for today I want to live life to the fullest, by loving the Lord my God with all my heart, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him. He said He came to give us life and that we will have it more abundantly- John 10:10.... in 120 degrees or 32:)
So if He came to give me life then He is the One I need to listen to. I'm not good at knowing what is life. Sometimes I think I know but then it always seems to be a temporary thing. When ever I follow Jesus I find it is an eternal establishment in my heart. I love that. It feels secure and right.
He will, in each situation when I turn towards Him, tell me to remain quiet, love on her, do good to them, bless him, pray for that one. So for today I will do my best to hear His voice and obey it. I choose not to look down the road to live out that day and miss this one or look back at all the "what ifs" of life. In sickness and in health, when I'm rich or when I'm poor, in good times and in bad I will be true to my Bridegroom Jesus....just for today:) Happy New Year!