Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

Family, Food, and Fun


Christ First at Christmas
Family, Food and Fellowship
Fun Around the Tree

Christ first
Tree ready for family gathering
Generations working cooperatively to make the Christmas dinner – aged tradition: spaetzle!
Mmmm… chicken, spaetzle, asparagus and salad …. yummy!
Our granddaughter, Faith, made that spaetzle batter from an old family recipe.
Family in Switzerland celebrated Christmas, too. Thank God for internet communication! There’s Andre’ with one of his gifts; and Mike with Tania (his sweet girlfriend) in the background.
California family sent video cheers from their Christmas gathering.
Bob and I feel so blessed with loving family and good health. Thank You, God!
Our daughter-in-law, Monika, was the perfect hostess.
And our son, Ty, the perfect host!
Ruthie & Darrell, Monika’s parents, are such a blessing to have around. Are you blessed with loving, compatible in-laws, too??
Our daughter, DeAna, in Switzerland, is blessed with the most angelic mother-in-law in the world! Here is De with her husband, Andre’, his sweet mom, Denise, and our middle grandson, Nicky. We appreiated keeping in touch this Christmas day.
Grandma Monika had the perfect nest for her granddaughter, Cosette, who returned to spend Christmas afternoon and eve with us.
Faith enjoyed the talking book we gave her. It was created with her and her siblings’ voices 20 years ago as a birthday gift for her great-grandma. Time to pass it along to the next generation and let Faith enjoy her own 4-year-old voice.
Faith’s husband, Kyle, got a kick out of hearing Faith’s sweet 4-year-old voice, too.
End of a long day- Cosette said, “Time to sleep!”
Grampy Bob said, “You’re right, Cosette. Good night!”

I hope you had a Christmas filled with Family, food, and fun, too. I pray your memories are as sweet as mine. Merry Christmas, my friends. May the spirit of the holidays live in your heart and bring you joy – all year long!

Have a great day after.
See ya tomorrow.

Image

Merry CHRISTmas!


Sunday before Christmas


Time for kids and joy
It’s Sunday before Christmas
Church and friends and love

The sanctuary
Is ready for the people
The Son waits with us

Fifth Advent candle
Waits with us for Christmas Day
Hope, love, joy, and peace

All are brightly lit
But not the center candle
It represents Christ

Flowers decorate
The stairs to the church’s front
Poinsettias tell all

Kathy and Jaime
Beautifully play the songs
That ring in Christmas

Ruby, Cassidy and Cord

The smiles of children
Remind is of the Christ Child
Whose birth we await

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

Today’s sermon was told by Elaine Hundley, in her husband Rev. Steve Hundley’s absence. The sermon focused on Joseph, the baby Jesus’ earthly father.

We pray for Steve as he sits at his dying mother’s bedside way over on the other side of the USA. We pray for Elaine who is experiencing her first Christmas apart from Steve in 42 years! She remained here to carry on Steve’s ministry in our church. God bless her!

I listened carefully to capture the message as Elaine delivered a sermon Steve had written some years ago. To understand the introduction, you need to know that Steve and Elaine are adoptive parents.

Here are my poetic renderings:

“Feeling Good About Christmas”

The adoption agency checked us out.
They made sure we were okay.
I wonder what God did to check out
Mary and Joseph to parent Jesus His way.

Joseph was a righteous man who
Believed the angel Gabriel who told:
“The baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit.”
So Joseph didn’t desert her – nor scold.

He took her to be his wife,
And ignored what might have been said
By the town folks as they gossiped.
He knew she was pure and had not “gone to bed.”

Joseph was a good man, a believer,
Who read and understood God’s grace.
He saw through the Holy Spirit’s lenses,
And was able to accept this Holy Child
from God’s Holy place.

May we, too, know the Christ Child
as God’s gift to us.
Amen!

Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent.
May the peace of Christ permeate your heart
and give you a peace-filled week.

Photo by Alexandro David on Pexels.com

Have a good Sunday night.
See ya tomorrow.

TOPS – Take Off Pounds Sensibly


Most Valuable Player =
Motivate
Validate
Praise
That’s ME
(and all my TOPS friends!)

What is TOPS?

TOPS is a national organization designed to help folks like me Take Off Pounds Sensibly and keep those pounds off. It is not a diet program, but a supportive organization that focuses on Mind Over Platter. Sensible meal choices, portion control, and self-control are three of the ways TOPS encourages reaching and keeping healthy weight goals.

Why Join?

I joined TOPS in 2012 shortly after Bob & I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. I saw myself in those anniversary photos and said, “Who’s that???” I had gained 20 pounds in about twenty years – a pound a year. It just crept up so slowly that I didn’t notice how out-of-shape I was! See those chubby cheeks? I needed help to get back to my goal weight.

Feb. 11, 2012

Accountability

Today I am back down those 20 pounds and am encouraged each week when I go to my TOPS meeting to keep the pounds off. I have to face the scale and tell my TOPS friends (most of whom are KOPS – Keep Off Pounds Sensibly) whether I gained, lost, or “turtled” this week. (Turtling is staying the same.) That accountability is important to me.

Today’s meeting was our annual Christmas party.
My friend, Devonna, came dressed as Santa!
Molly and Jeannie are the leaders of our group. They have been KOPS for over ten years. A real inspiration… real MVPs!!
Our party included fruit, juice, coffee, and healthy low-cal muffins.
We have food at our meeting only a couple of times a year.
Each person brought a gift (under $5 value) and we each picked one. Such fun!

I was the happy TOPS “Best Loser” today.
Every 1/4 lb. counts. I lost 1/2 lb. (Yay!!)
It’s so easy to put the pounds on this time of year.
I think of my TOPS friends and that scale
every time I put a piece of candy
or a Christmas cookie in my mouth.
I am not asked to deny myself…
Just be smart about how much
and when I eat those sweets!

Is Weight Watching Part of Your Routine?

If, like me, you have to watch what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat – or you are prone to gain unwanted pounds, you might also look into seeing if there is a group like TOPS in your vicinity. The dues are only $5 per month. There are no foods you have to buy. No extra costs. Just a wonderful group of supportive friends. I am so grateful to my TOPS friends.

I encourage you to seek friends who are MVPs for you, too.
Motivators
Validators
Positive friends who Praise and encourage you.

Happy Holidays!

Have a Wonderful Week!
See ya tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek

The Smallest Things


Winnie the Pooh said,
“Sometimes the smallest things
take up the most room in your heart.”

Photo by Inna Lesyk on Pexels.com

Yesterday at church, the smallest people there took up the largest place in my heart… and the hearts of the congregants. I didn’t have my camera with me to show you a picture of the “Terrific Tuesday” children who sang Christmas carols to the congregation and recited a memorized Bible verse into the microphone. But, you just have to imagine these three darlings along with five others ranging in age from 4 to 10 – – – singing and reciting praises to our Lord. It was glorious!

These are our darling Sunday School children
with the food they gathered to share
at the Food Bank in November

Ruby, Cord, and Hailey were joined by five others yesterday as they sang, “Father Abraham,” and “Silent Night,” and synced hand motions to “I’ve Got Peace Like a River”… Oh my! Every face in the church was bursting with God’s JOY as we watched these darling little ones.

The Klein family lit the Advent candles:
Week One – Hope
Week Two – Peace
Week Three – Joy

Elaine Hundley, our Pastor Steve’s wife, delivered the sermon. Steve is off in Virginia at his mom’s side as she lies dying. As we pray for Steve and his mom, Faye, our congregation also is mourning the death of Reverend Jean Johnson, who died after a difficult surgery and related difficulties. She had been the pastor here in the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church for 32 years.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know I take notes in poetry as I listen and internalize the sermon. Elaine called her sermon, “Second Chances” as she talked about Zechariah’s muteness due to unbelief – and the second chance he received after acknowledging his baby boy’s name is John. In my notes, I focused more on the message to Mary – and her response to Gabriel and to God. Here is what I wrote as I discerned the message yesterday. I called it Believe and Trust:

Based on Luke 1:26-56

Think about Gabriel’s messages
To Zechariah and to Mary.
He told each their child’s name
And spoke as if a voice from a fairy.

Zechariah was a priest and he
Should have believed the voice.
But he doubted – and became mute.
Like Zechariah, we have a choice.

We can believe as Mary did,
Or doubt as Zechariah chose to do.
The result of Mary’s faith
Was rich in blessings. So it is with you.

When God speaks to us, we know
Blessings are ours – if we trust.
Through faith, we are free to rejoice;
We are free to believe – We must!

Mary’s song speaks as if God
Already has done what He said.
She praises the gift of His Son.
She didn’t look on her fate with dread.

Sometimes, like Mary, we face unknowns.
Like her, we are called to accept
The challenges God gives us as gifts.
Know God’s in charge, so have no regrets.

Christmas is a season in which, as we light the Advent candle – there is a new focus each week. We await the birth of the Christ Child with a focus on JOY this week. I pray you find JOY in this day – and project nothing but HOPE, PEACE and JOY to all you meet.

As Pooh said, “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” What’s taking up room in your heart today?

Look for the smallest ways to believe, trust, and spread the Good News! Wheeee!! Take JOY into your heart! (It’s no small thing.)

Photo by Kevin Bidwell on Pexels.com

Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I hope it brought you JOY today.
See ya later.

St. Nick Around the World


Santa ’round the world
Jolly Old St. Nicholas
Known by many names

In America, he is Santa Claus

In Pennsylvania
St. Nicholas was displayed
In his many forms

Santa Claus is also
St. Nicholas,
in the USA.
We have a song:
“Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,
lean your ear this way
Don’t you tell a single soul
What I’m going to say…”

Each depiction of Santa
in the Pittsburgh Santa Town display
showed a painting and a description
… and a bigger than life-sized model
of whoever St. Nick is in that country.
Here’s Netherlands.
Haiti
Isn’t she marvelous?
Middle East
Holy Man
Great Britain
Father Christmas – Spectacular!
Sorry ’bout the flash reflection!
St. Stephen- of Ireland
The beards were created by mops!!
Russia
Grandfather Frost – He was awesome!
Latin America
Viejo Pascero – Wonderfully colorful!
France
Pere Noel evidently always has a helper.
De says Pere Noel is really “Père Fouettard” –
Got that?
Italy (Can you read the descriptive words on the booklet page?)
Only a few of the “St. Nick” depictions were female
Norway
“Julesvenn” – gift bringer
Isn’t that beard magnificent?
China
Dun Che Lao Ren
Pittsburgh was decked out for Christmas.
It was before Thanksgiving!
The buildings declared the coming of the Christmas season.
We visited the Santa House…
…and had our picture taken with Santa Claus
Merry Christmas is coming!

Even if the display was “too early” in my estimation, if it had not been before Thanksgiving, we would not have been there to enjoy it and photograph it for you. I hope you enjoyed the display.

See ya tomorrow…
Gotta go continue writing my C’mas cards.

What are you up to today?
And which Santa- St. Nick – did you like best??

Christmas Time Fun


The season of Christmas is one of my favorites.
It’s a time to socialize with friends and to shop.
It’s a time to enjoy the great outdoors on the slopes.
It’s a time for cards and cookies and eat ’til you pop!

Last night we attended the annual Christmas party that the Madison Valley Medical Center sponsors for its staff and volunteers in the Auxiliary. Bob & I went with our dear neighbors, the Welnas.
Bob & Sue are the greatest neighbors ever!
The Inn was decked out and ready for us. Must have been 100 folks! All part of the Madison Valley Medical Center. We are blessed to have these facilities (hospital and steak house) in/near our little town of Ennis.
This lovely restaurant in McAllister is just 7 miles out of Ennis. They did a super job serving so many people!
This is Ruth, one of our most faithful, long-term auxiliary members. She really gets into the spirit of the season!
Each staff member or auxiliary lady was allowed to bring a guest. My friend, Leah, brought her daughter, Chris. They are such fun!
And now, it’s a lovely day at Big Sky… like I said, “time to enjoy the great outdoors on the slopes.” If you are a ski nut like my husband Bob is, this beautiful photo taken by my friend, Susan Phillips, will start ya salivating!
But I am going to sit by the fire, drink hot chocolate, and write Christmas cards this morning. This is the kind of picture that starts my juices flowing!

What are you up to?
What’s your favorite kind of fun this time of the year?
Have some “Christmas Time Fun”
and tell me all about it!

See ya later.

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