Monday, December 31, 2007

Marriage Monday: Marriage Counseling Joke

A husband and wife came for counseling after 15 years of marriage. When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a passionate, painful tirade listing every problem they had ever had in the 15 years they had been married.

She went on and on and on: neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of unmet needs she had endured over the course of their marriage.
Finally, after allowing this to go on for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and, after asking the wife to stand, embraced and kissed her passionately as her husband watched with a raised eyebrow.

The woman shut up and quietly sat down as though in a daze. The therapist turned to the husband and said, "This is what your wife needs at least three times a week. Can you do this?"

The husband thought for a moment and replied, "Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I fish."

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday's Quote of the Day: A New Year's Prayer

Dear Lord, please give me…
A few friends who understand me and remain my friends;
A work to do which has real value,
without which the world would be the poorer;
A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed;
An understanding heart;
A sense of humor;
Time for quiet, silent meditation;
A feeling of the presence of God;
The patience to wait for the coming of these things,
With the wisdom to recognize them when they come. Amen.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Thirteen Favorite Christmas Moments

My Favorite Christmas Moments

1. Playing “tea set” with my two year old granddaughter
2. Listening to my 22 month old grandson singing Jingle Bells
3. Hearing my three year old grandson imitating Louis Armstrong’s “Zat you Santa Claus?”
4. Grandma’s crazy white elephant gifts
5. Watching my son and daughter-in-law in their church musical “Two from Galilee.”
6. Visiting my father-in-law and his new wife at their home for their first married Christmas together.
7. Getting a “special gift” from my two year old granddaughter…who when asked what they should get nana for Christmas responded a turtle AND a diet coke!
8. Listening to Christmas Carols
9. Seeing the Christmas lights at Opryland Hotel in Nashville
10. Journeying through the Christmas story in a sermon series at our church called the Journey Home.
11. Hosting “Tables of Six” Christmas brunch at the women’s Bible study I have taught for the past two years.
12. Eating Christmas goodies (Make it stop!!!)
13. Going to church services with my daughter’s family in Nashville and my son’s family at our new church in Bourbonnais.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Twas the Day After Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste
At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.
When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).
I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,
The fudge and the gum balls, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."
As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt---
I said to myself, as I only can
"You can't spend a winter disguised as a man!
"So--away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip.
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
Till all the additional ounces have vanished.
I won't have a cookie--not even a lick
I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.
I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore---
But isn't that what January is for?
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Nativity

Luke 2:1-20

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.

While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see--I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!"

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday's Quote of the Day

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
Dr. Seuss

Saturday, December 22, 2007

1 Corinthians 13 - Christmas Version

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend myriad holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas China and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Teaching Children the REAL Meaning of Christmas

Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room, and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree. He placed his finger over his mouth so I would not cry out. "What are you doing?" I started to ask him.

The words choked in my throat, as I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement, TEACH THE CHILDREN! I was puzzled: What did he mean? He anticipated my question, and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree.
As I stood there bewildered, Santa said, Teach the Children! Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that a now-a-day Christmas has forgotten!

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it on the mantle. Teach the Children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind. All the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven.

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. Teach the Children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of that promise.

He then reached into the bag and pulled out a CANDLE. Teach the Children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness.

Once again he reached into his bag and then removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. Teach the Children that the wreath symbolizes the eternal nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection.

He then pulled out from his bag an ornament of HIMSELF. Teach the Children that Santa Claus symbolizes the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December.

He reached in again and pulled out a HOLLY LEAF. Teach the Children the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent blood shed by Him.

Next he pulled out a GIFT from the bag and said, "Teach the Children that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift. Teach the Children that the wise men bowed before the holy babe and presented Him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We should give gifts in the same spirit as the wise men."

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. Teach the Children that the candy cane represents the shepherd's crook. The crook on the shepherd's staff helps bring back strayed sheep from the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper.

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. Teach the Children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang 'Glory to God in the highest, on earth, peace and good will.'

Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL. Teach the Children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of a bell, it should bring people to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.

Santa looked at the tree and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, "Remember, teach the Children the true meaning of Christmas, and not to put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the ONE WHO IS, and I bow down and worship Him, our Lord, our God."

Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Look here and here for more fun Wordless Wednesday pictures!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday's Quote of the Day

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Stressless Saturday: Notes from a Therapist's Chair: Driven Into the Ground: Stress Management Strategies for Professionals

Check out this great post by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on five strategies for managing stress for professionals: Notes from a Therapist's Chair: Driven Into the Ground: Stress Management Strategies for Professionals.

Her main points are:

1) Carve out “Me” Time
2) Take Belly Breaths
3) Prioritize
4) Talk About It
5) Challenge Your Thinking

Go to her blog to read the rest!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Check out other great pictures here and here!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Marriage Monday: Six Ways Men Can Make Their Marriages Much Happier

I am always looking for resources for couples. I found this great article on the ACT Professional Marriage Counseling Blog.

Six Ways Men Can Make Their Marriages Much Happier

1. Treat your wife like a business client. Many men say they don't know what's expected of them in romantic relationships -- yet the same men know what to do in business relationships. The two aren't as different as you might think.If a client made you unhappy, you wouldn't fight with him/her. Instead, you would try to smooth things out. If this client made a crucial error, you would not criticize him -- you would try to help him recover. Overall, you would try to understand who your client is, what his goals are and how you can help him succeed.Treat your wife like this, and you won't go too far wrong. Of course, don't tell her you're treating her like a client. Just do it!

Read more of Robert Heard's article here.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday's Quote of the Day

"Life is a constant Advent season: we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfill. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfillment are all part of our Advent experience.

"The world is not as just, not as loving, not as whole as we know it can and should be. But the coming of Christ and his presence among us—as one of us—give us reason to live in hope: that light will shatter the darkness, that we can be liberated from our fears and prejudices, that we are never alone or abandoned.

"May this Advent season be a time for bringing hope, transformation and fulfillment into the Advent of our lives."

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Stressless Saturday: Relaxation Meditation Nature Sounds

Meditate on the word of God:

Phl 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fun Friday

I took my dad to the mall the other day to buy some new shoes. We
decided to grab a bite at the food court.

I noticed he was watching a teenager sitting next to him. The
teenager had spiked hair in all different colors: green, red, orange,
and blue. My dad kept staring at him. The teenager would look and find
him staring every time. When the teenager had enough, he sarcastically
asked, "What's the matter old man, never done anything wild in your

Knowing my Dad, I quickly swallowed my food so that I would not choke
on his response; knowing he would have a good one.

And in classic style he did not bat an eye in his response.
"Got drunk once and had sex with a peacock. I was just wondering if
you were my son."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Holiday Cooking with Kids

1. 2 Minute Microwave Fudge

1 pound of powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 pound butter/margarine
1 cup chopped nuts

Mix all dry ingredients together in a 8x8 inch microwave safe pan (important to use this size pan). Add milk and vanilla extract. Place chunk of butter/margarine in center ( leave butter as whole do not chop up). Microwave on high for 2 minutes until bottom of dish feels warm. Stir vigorously and blend in chopped nuts. Put in mold or whatever and chill for 1 hour. * Use real butter for best results.

2. Caramel Krispie Treats

Makes 1 batch

1 stick butter 1 can sweetened condensed milk 1 package caramels 5 cups +/- rice Krispies

Melt the butter over medium heat and then add the sweetened condensed milk. Next add the caramels and stir until all is melted. Last, add the rice krispies (you can use as much as you like). Then just drop by spoonful onto wax paper. Let set 30 minutes. Store covered in frig. Very Yummy !!

3. Chocolate Chow Mein Candy
Makes 1 dozen

1 bag semi sweet chocolate morsels (chips) 1/2 bag chow mein noodles 1/2 cup peanuts or Reese's peanut butter chips

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or by using a metal bowl over a sauce pan filled a couple of inches with water. Stir in half a bag of chow mein noodles. Stir in 1/2 cup of peanuts or my personal favorite Reeses Peanut Butter Chips. Drop tablespoon full of the mixture onto a cookie sheet or large plate covered in wax paper or foil. Put in the refrigerator to set for at least 30 minutes.

4. Chocolate Covered Pretzels

3 bags large pretzels 2 bags small pretzels 1 bag each Christmas colors of chocolate Assortment of toppings: Nuts, colored sprinkles and drizzled colored cocoa

Melt chocolate colors individually on a low burning stove. When chocolate is completely melted, drop pretzels in and coat with a layer of chocolate, drain off excess and lay on a sheet of wax paper. While still wet. Sprinkle on your toppings. Wait till dry and then wrap as many as you like in "special" holiday cello bags, tied with pretty ribbons. Looks festive on a pretty clear dish. Enjoy!

5. Fake Brittle
Makes 1 batch

enough club crackers to line a cookie sheet 1 stick margarine 1 stick butter 3/4 cup sugar as needed almonds (sliced)

Lay club crackers singly on a cookie sheet. Melt the margarine, butter and sugar - stirring constantly until boiling. Pour mixtue over crackers. Sprinkle almonds on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool and cut into pieces. ENJOY!

6. Ho-Ho Hash
From the kitchen of Hunter in Asheboro, NC (5 yrs old)

1 bag holiday M&M's 1 bag chocolate chips 1 bag butterscotch chips 1 can cocktail peanuts 1 bag holiday marshmallows 1 box Christmas Capt Crunch cereal 1 box of Cheerio's cereal

Mix all ingredients together and ENJOY.

7. Milky Way Bars
Makes 2 to 3 dozen bars

6 milky way candy bars 3/4 (1 1/2 sticks) butter, chopped 6 cups crisp rice cereal 1 cup chopped pecans 6 ounces chocolate bark

Combine the candy bars and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes or until melted and stir until well blended. Stir in the cereal and pecans. Press the mixture into a small 9x13- inch pan. Microwave the chocolate bark in a small microwave-safe bowl and pour over the cereal layer. Chill until firm. Cut into bars.

8. Peanut Clusters (mircrowavable)
Makes 1 batch

12 oz bag butterscotch morsels 6 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate morsels 1 cup cocktail peanuts (salted)

Microwave morsels until melted and smooth. Stir in peanuts. Spoon onto wax paper on cookie sheet in desired size. Place in frig for 1 hour to set. Keep in cool place.

9. Peppermint Bark
From the kitchen of Sean, age 6

2 pounds white chocolate chips 8 to 10 candy canes (smashed) use strainer to get bigger pieces out

Melt white chocolate in microwave on high, stirring every 30 seconds. Mix in big pieces of smashed candy canes, pour onto cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap. Spread evenly and sprinkle on small candy cane pieces. Cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Break into chunks.

10. Puppy Chow

1 (16 ounce) bag of Nestle chocolate chips 1 box of powdered sugar, sifted 1 cup peanut butter 1 box Crispix cereal 1 stick butter or margarine

Melt butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter in a pot on stove over medium heat, stirring constantly. Sift powdered sugar into large brown paper bag. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal in large bowl. Put cereal into bag with powdered sugar and shake until completely covered. Store in an airtight bowl.

11. Willy Wonka Bars

1/2 cup margarine, softened 1 cup peanut butter 1/2 box powdered sugar 1 1/2 packages graham crackers 1 package chocolate chips 2 tablespoons margarine or 1/4 cup milk

Combine margarine, peanut butter, powdered sugar and graham crackers. Press mixture in pan. Melt chips and 2 tablespoons of margarine or milk. Spread over graham cracker crust. Refrigerate. Cut when cool.

12. Rocky Road
Makes 1 1/2 pounds

3/4 cups coarsely chopped nuts 3 cups tiny marshmallows 2 8 ounce bars of milk chocolate

In a medium saucepan slowly melt milk chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows and chopped nuts. Spread in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2 inch pan. Chill till chocolate is firm. Cut into squares

13. Easy Granola Candy
Makes 2-1/2 dozen

1 package (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 package (6 ounces) butterscotch chips 1 1/4 cups Quaker 100% natural cereal (regular or fruit) 1 cup nuts (walnuts, peanuts, almonds or whatever you like) 1/3 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)

Melt chips over hot water (not boiling) or in microwave. Add the rest of the ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls on waxed paper and chill. Store in refrigerator.

Wordless Wednesday

Check out other great pictures at 5 Minutes for Mom and Wordless Wednesday HQ.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Marriage Monday

This is a great tool for couples to measure the health of their marriage and discover the areas that need improvement. If you are wondering if marriage counseling would be beneficial check out this resource!`

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sunday's Quote of the Day

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. ~Edith Sitwell

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Stressless Saturday

This is the time of year that most of us get stressed out because we have too much to do. Unfortunately we don't really think about why we do the things we do, we just keep up the traditions that we've always done without question.

We sometimes are like the woman who cut every ham in half and baked it in two pans. When questioned by her husband why she did it that way she said, "That's how my mother taught me do it." So, out of curiosity, hubby called his mother-in-law to find out why she did it that way. She said, "Because I never had a pan big enough to cook a whole ham." For years the daughter had followed a "tradition" that didn't make any sense in her situation just because that is the way it had always been done.

To help control stress I put together a list of the common jobs that are included in our typical holiday season along with some questions to ask yourself about each job. You can add to the list the jobs that are unique to your family.

If you would like a copy of this form e-mail me at and I will send it to you!