It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Author Unknown

Monday, December 31, 2012

Chapter 12, Page 31, Book 12

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.  A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.  

Bill Vaughan

7th. day of Christmas, December 31st, New Year's Eve

New Year's eve is a quiet time of reflection for me.  I like to remember the good times of the old year and look forward to more in the coming year.  My 2013 calendar already has some special days marked on it.  The highlights of 2012 was mostly good times with family.  

I like to think I am an optimist.  Ever looking for the Bright Side of life.  Those special moments in every day that make life more fulfilling and worth living to the fullest.

We still have a few more days of Christmas left to enjoy here...the 12th day being January 6th.

I hope you all have a very Happy New Years Eve.  Be safe and be happy!

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.

Oprah Winfrey 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chapter 12, Page 30, Book 12

Our little Lucky guy with Santa this year'

Affirmations of Christmas 


I believe that Christmas is more than a time for parties and ornaments; it is a time for remembering Christ and the incarnation of God’s love in human flesh.

I believe there are gifts more important than the ones under the Christmas tree, the things we teach our children, the way we share ourselves with friends, and the industry with which we set about reshaping the world in our time.

I believe that the finest carols are often sung by the poorest voices; from hearts made warm by the wonder of the season.

I believe in the angel’s message that we should not be afraid—that the Child of Bethlehem is able to overcome all anxieties and insecurities.

I believe in prayer and quietness as a way of appropriating Christmas—that if I wait in silence I will experience the presence of the one born in the manger, for he lives today as surely as he lived then.

I believe in going away from Christmas as the wise men went: another way. I want to be different when these days are past—more centered, more thoughtful, more caring.

And I believe God will help me. Amen

6th Day of Christmas, December 30th. 

I would be remiss if I didn't give thanks to God for helping me every day.  I do believe that we are given just what we need each day, no more, no less.  And that is the way I try to day at a time.

I've never had an overabundance of anything, but I have had what I've needed to see me through each day.  I'm blessed with a wonderful family, a comfortable home, good health and a few good friends.  I don't go hungry by any means, I have all the conveniences anyone could want.  These gifts keep Christmas alive in my heart.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chapter 12, Page 29, Book 12

Christmas is… 

Source Unknown
Christmas is a gift of love wrapped in human flesh and tied securely with the strong promises of God.

Christmas is angelic music in the form of a carol and oratorio with a celestial descant.
Christmas is a man on duty tending sheep, or machine,
Christmas is a tall green tree which serves as festive altar for any household
Christmas is an altar to which man can bring his heartache for comfort,
Christmas is the sparkle of anticipation and the steady light of faith
Christmas is glory to God, good will to man, and joy to the world.
Christmas is peace on earth for those who accept it and live in unity with God's will.
    who senses the upward call and stops to worship.
    which discovers the true meaning behind it all.
Christmas is a ringing bell calling a distraught humanity to gladness and hope.
Christmas is a glowing hearth gently placed in the winter of man's loneliness.
    his lostness for guidance, and his sin for forgiveness.
    in the eyes of a little child as he hears the old, old story.
Christmas is the shining star of hope in the sky of all mankind. 
Christmas is more than words can tell, 
for it is a matter for the heart to receive, believe and understand.

  5th Day of Christmas, December 29th 

There truly are a lot of things that the word Christmas encompasses.  Christmas is a celebration that outdoes all the others. We prepared for it for weeks. I think it would be a shame if we ended the celebration on December 25th.  It deserves at least these 12 days, if not more.  We need to keep that shining star of hope shinning all through the year.  

Life is like a camera.
Just focus on what’s important
Capture the good times
Develop from the negative
and if things don’t turn out
just take another shot.

Author Unknown

Friday, December 28, 2012

Chapter 12, Page 28, Book 12

This sign is one of the gifts I received this Christmas

Wouldn't life be worth the living
Wouldn't dreams be coming true
If we kept the Christmas spirit
All the whole year through?
Author Unknown

4th Day of Christmas, December 28th.

If you ask 10 people what the Christmas spirit is, you'll probably get 7 to 8 different answers. Going beyond those different answers, there is something that makes people more selfless, more friendly, more kind, and generally much nicer people at Christmas. 

To me it is that selfless action that brings people together. There is nothing quite as sweet as the love of your family and friends, and celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, the ultimate giver.

Everyone deserves to feel that special Christmas feeling, nothing can compare to it.  

Christmas is a time to open our hearts to God and his gifts.  Just like the rest of the year.  

Author Unknown

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Chapter 12, Page 27, Book 2012

Here I am Christmas Eve with my daughter and our little Xfactor

Christmas Thoughts 

It’s sharing your gifts, not purchasing gifts;
It’s not wrapping presents, its being present and wrapping your arms around the ones you love;
It’s not getting Christmas cards out on time,
It’s sending any card, anytime, at the right time;
It’s not having the biggest and best Christmas light display,
It’s displaying the Christ light that comes from your heart;
It’s not Santa coming down the chimney,
It’s Jesus coming down from heaven, and giving us the gift of eternal life.

3rd Day of Christmas, December 27th.

One of the greatest gifts we can give each other is a smile.  Smiles say we care.  Smiles gladden a sad heart.  Smiles are free and don't cost a cent.  Share the gifts you have with each other.  They mean more than any gift you can purchase.  

Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind.

Helen Steiner Rice

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chapter 12, Page 26, Book 12

My newest little granddaughter - 6 weeks old

Before the Paling of the Stars

Christina Rossetti

Before the paling of the stars,
Before the winter morn,
Before the earliest cock-crow
Jesus Christ was born:
Born in a stable,
Cradled in a manger,
In the world His hands had made
Born a stranger.
Priest and King lay fast asleep
In Jerusalem,
Young and old lay fast asleep
In crowded Bethlehem:
Saint and Angel, ox and ass,
Kept a watch together,
Before the Christmas daybreak
In the winter weather.
Jesus on his mother's breast
In the stable cold,
Spotless Lamb of God was He
Shepherd of the fold:
Let us kneel with Mary Maid,
With Joseph bent and hoary,
With Saint and Angel, ox and ass,
To hail the King of Glory.

2nd Day of Christmas, December 26th

To have the belief and faith of a child is one of life's greatest blessings.  And indeed we are all called to have such a faith.

Don't laugh.  Being childish isn't always a desirable thing, but it is a must if we truly want to have Christmas in our hearts.

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. 

Roy L. Smith

We've all read about how years ago a little girl wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper. The little girl, it seems, had believed in Santa Claus for a long time, and her belief was being shaken by some of her cold and less imaginative companions.  The editor's reply was, Virginia, your little friends are wrong... in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

The editor's lines live on, not because he proved anything about childhood's Santa, but because he conveyed so well the spirit of Christmas.

There is nothing more real than the spirit of Christmas.  How wonderful it would be if we could keep just a little bit of that alive in our hearts and homes every day of the year.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas, make the Yuletide gay.  

Ralph Blane

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Chapter 12, Page 25, Book 12

Christmas Day, December 25th

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweetThe words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled alongThe unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
There is no peace on earth, I said;
For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

All the preparations are done and now we can celebrate Christmas to it's fullest!  I know that here at my house, I'm more than a little ready,  It's been a long busy month and it's time to just sit back relax and enjoy every moment of the Christmas season.

Remember to be good to each other.
The daily stresses of life can easily cause us to get irritable with our spouses or with others. We pick at the little annoyances or criticize minor habits. We blurt out harmful, unkind words without thinking. Yes, Christmas is for gaiety, mirth and song, for good and wondrous gifts. But mostly, Christmas is for love.

May our hearts be filled with words that will be a blessing to others today.

We do have snow on the ground and the pictures are of our visit to our park system Christmas lights display recently.  

 My two youngest sons and their sons.

A very Merry Christmas to all of you !

Fail not to call to mind, in the course of the twenty-fifth of this month, that the Divinest Heart that ever walked the earth was born on that day; and then smile and enjoy yourselves for the rest of it; for mirth is also of Heaven's making.  

Leigh Hunt 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Chapter 12, Page 24, Book 12

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through! 

Author Unknown

Monday, December 24th:  PEACE

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid

John 14:27

The Christmas season is the only time of the year when people who don't necessarily like each other decide to converge on a very small living space and spend too much time with too many high expectations. And although we do this year after year, we somehow convince ourselves that this year will be different.

Christmas should be a time of peace.
 It is a time to get over our differences. And instead, to offer goodwill and reclaim peace in our family relationships.

Christmas should be a time of hope.  Christmas is poised at the end of one year and the beginning of the next, at the crossroads of the past and the future.  A previous year, with its blessings and its trials, is gone.  A new year looms ahead, full of uncertainty.  Yet, here is Christmas, the celebration of a birth that took place 2000 years ago, a perennial bright spot on our calendars because God has given us hope.  

 Christmas is the time to give the gift of overdue peace.

A time to think peace…

A time to pray for peace…

A time to accept God’s peace…

A time to be God’s peace in the world.

Put things in order … and the God of love and peace will be with you

2 Corinthians 13:11

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Chapter 12, Page 23, Book 12

Peace on earth will come to stay,
When we live Christmas every day.

Helen Steiner Rice

The fourth Sunday of Advent, December 23rd:  PEACE

Activities and gatherings may pack my schedule during the holiday season. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming. Yet in the midst of any busyness, there are ways I can find peaceful moments.

Just closing my eyes and taking some deep breaths helps.  Even in the hectic times I can remember that God is near and allow small moments of peace to return.

Realizing that…

God is in control and will fill your Christmas with peace
God can and will fill your Christmas with hope
God cares and will fill your Christmas with love
God doesn't want us to get irritated in our preparations for Christmas. That would sort of defeat the purpose of the coming of the Prince of Peace, wouldn't it? Peaceful and meaningful preparation is key. No panic necessary ... keep focused on the Reason for the Season.

Peace is always beautiful. 

Walt Whitman

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chapter 12, Page 22, Book 12

Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord

Luke 2:10-11

Saturday December 22nd: JOY

Joy is awfully hard to come by these days, particularly with all the bad news.  It seems much easier to find things to bring us down than to lift us up.

Did you know that here are more words for joy and rejoice in Hebrew than in any other language.  In almost every case, the definition includes the superlative, exceedingly.

So it’s not just being happy.  It’s being so happy you can’t contain yourself. Exceedingly joyful.  So, as we celebrate the Joy of Hope fulfilled this season, be thankful in all things.  Even in the bad times, be thankful that you are still breathing.

There is always, always something to be thankful for.

In God our hearts rejoice.

Psalm 33:21

Friday, December 21, 2012

Chapter 12, Page 21, Book 12

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100
Friday, December 21st: JOY

Can you manufacture joy? Is it possible to be joyful just because someone tells us to be joyful?  Psalm 100  says to Shout for JOY to the Lord!

It may not come easily at first, but the Spirit of the season asks us to be joyful! This time of year it seems that their always some people who are doubting Thomas's, Scrooges, and Grinches. They have a cynical attitude toward Christmas. If you tell them that Jesus comes at Christmas, that all will be calm and bright, that hark the herald angels will sing, and there will be joy to the world, these cynics respond, Bah! Humbug! 

It's a time to believe...the Messiah comes to quell our fears and heal our hearts. 

Rather than looking at what I don't have,  being thankful for what I do have is a sure way to bring joy into my life. Giving thanks for all the blessings in my life today.  I believe and hope you do too.  No Scrooges or Grinches here at my house.

Joyful, Joyful we adore you, Christ our new born King!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chapter 12, Page 20, Book 12

Thursday December 20th:  JOY


By putting yourself last and Jesus first, with others in between, it brings real joy.

Let us remember that joy isn’t just a happy feeling but is part of the mystery of our faith that comes from serving and following our Lord and King.

When I had a large family at home, I rarely had time to think about myself.  I was much too busy caring for all of them.  Now that I live alone, it is a great temptation to be self-centered and I do have to watch out that I don't do that.  

Trying to keep the balance isn't always easy. Advent reminds us of what is important in our lives.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chapter 12, Page 19, Book 12

Make each day useful and cheerful and prove that you know the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be happy, old age without regret, and life a beautiful success.

Louisa Mae Allcott

Wednesday, December 19th:  JOY

This is a season of celebration that should uplift and nourish our souls, not drain them.  Advent is supposed to be about: a joyful waiting period for the birth of Jesus. But hope is the key, because that’s why we’re joyful in the first place.  When I think about the  JOY that goes along with Christmas, I think the magic that people associate with Christmas is really the JOY of Jesus’ birth!

Focusing on the wise men’s joy when they saw the star, the good tidings of great joy from the angels and shepherds gives  a feeling of joy and excitement.  We read and tell of the stories of the first Christmas over and over, yet it never seems to be old or boring.  

Our waiting time is almost over, yet it is good to take the time to pause and reflect during this busy time of year.

It is very strange that the years teach us patience — that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting. 

Elizabeth Taylor