Welcome to Life Through Bifocals

Life is not always clear and easy to figure out. So grab a cup of coffee and your bifocals and let's see what we can see.

Friday, December 21, 2012

I'm Still Here - Are You?

According to the Mayan Calendar the world ended for the upper right half of the USA at 6:11 a.m. this morning.  Well, I'm still here.

The Bible is very clear about when the world will end and it cannot be determined by man.
Matthew 24:36
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

So I'm celebrating life today by going to work where my boss is throwing us a Christmas Party. She is full of life and fun and doesn't mind one bit if we say "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays", or "Happy Chunakah" (she's Jewish). She lives life to help others, to laugh, to love, and give back in any way she can.  I know we will have fun and laugh about us all being there. 

As we get closer to Christmas, enjoy the ones you love. Think of each day as a gift - because it is. Think of others before you think of yourself and remember, some day the world will really end - are you ready to meet God! If not, let's talk about it!

Merry Christmas to all from us!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

As our little 4 foot Christmas tree sits atop of our toy cabinets, it glows in the dark room. As I look at it I see 20 small wooden painted Christmas decorations.

Back in 1972 we lived in New Mexico. Hubby was in the Air Force and we were stationed in Albuquerque NM.  We had been there only about a mouth and didn't have a Christmas tree.  Our neighbor, also in the Air Force had 2 small silver trees. Remember those?

Photo from Google
She didn't have any decorations to share however. Hubby and I went Christmas shopping. It was going to be our first Christmas as man and wife and our last Christmas as man and wife at the same time, since our son was due at any time. All of our money was going into getting the nursery ready.

We found this paint by number Christmas decoration kit and we bought it.  We made a big bowl of soup, hot cocoa and laid out newspaper on the kitchen table. We painted the wooden decorations and then using rope, attached them to the tree.

It was our first Christmas together. We had a nice meal, visited with others in our off base housing unit, relishing in the fact that it was December and I wasn't wearing a coat since it was so warm. Within 6 days, we had our son. 

Over the last 40 years, those little wooden painted figures have been put on each and every tree that we put up. Over the last 40 years, I look at them and smile about all we have been through as a couple, as a family, as a nation.

It's a simple thing that always warms my heart.  I love our little wooden decorations. They have aged over the years. The paint has worn off in some spots and run in other spots. You may even say that the years were not so good to some of them.....just like me some days.

Do you have a special decoration that you put out and remember.......

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Oh Hodgepodge Time, Oh Hodgepodge Time, you are so very Loverly

Thank you Joyce.

1. How will you spend 'the night before Christmas'? 
We will be home that day but at 10pm we will join others  of our church for a special service at church. We did this this last year and it was wonderful. I'm looking forwarded to it again.

2.  What is one thing you are not?
I am not a good GPS! I can't find my way out of the mall and find my car some days!  

3.  Fudge-are you a fan?  Your favorite flavor?
Yes fan, but living low carb, I have to really plan for it. I love it with nuts and peanut butter is my favorite.

4. Did you attend any craft/vendor fairs in the month of December?  Do you prefer homemade goodies or the more professional stalls? Are you giving any homemade gifts this year? 
I did not attend any craft/vendor fairs this month. I love homemade gifts and am giving some this year. 

5. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering? 
Weddings are my favorite. Young love, a bright future, seeing people I haven't seen in a while.  I love it all.

6.  We're approaching a new year...what's going to be different in 2013? 
Haven't much thought about it too deeply but I plan of looking for more things to laugh about, more people to show love to, and more to be grateful about.  I think we all need some of that now.

7. Share a favorite scripture, quote, saying, or song lyric relating to peace.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. [Psalms 34:14]  

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night

Now it's your turn.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Make a Wish

Some weeks, it's just hard to write a blog. You have the stories, you have the words, but circumstances beyond your control take over and any blog you write just seems trivial.

The events of last week have done that for me. I want to talk about the snow we got yesterday and the 2 other snow events coming our way.

I want to talk about the decorations that we put up and some of the memories that I have when I look at them.

But all I can think of is Newtown, Connecticut and the pain that they are going through.

Then Hubby and I went out for a drive and came across a house that was doing something worth blogging about.

It began as a High School Senior project and grew.  He had 30,000 lights on his house that took him a long time to set up. Joshua Letourneau collects donations outside as people stop to look, take pictures and enjoy the lights and music. We stopped, looked, took pictures, donated and talked to the young man for a bit. 

He gives all the money he earns to the Make-A-Wish Foundation Chapter to help others get one last wish.  How kind is that.  At this time when so many want, want, and want, he gives his time, he gives his energy, he gives the money away. He's been doing this for a few years and he has paid for all the decorations himself. He keeps not one penny for all he collects for his time. 

This year he has received sponsorships for next year so he can have 40,000 lights. He is looking forwarded to the after Christmas sales so he can get lots of lights at really good prices. He wants to make it bigger, brighter, better so that he can raise more, give more, and pay for more wishes.

Somehow, this story needed to be told. It seems more important to me to tell this story than a story about  our wooden decorations and their story.

Fulfill a wish, donate time or money, hug a kid, kiss a spouse and say a prayer.

It will do more good than any gift you may give or get.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The One Blue Light

We don't put lights in the windows here. Well, we don't put white lights in our windows here. In fact, we only put one light in one window...one blue light.

It's not for the military, and it's not for the King of Kings.  It's for all the police officers who will not celebrate Christmas this year. Not because they are working, or are overseas, but because they gave the ultimate sacrifice and died this year.

There are lots of YouTube videos of police officers working. Many of those videos don't show the good that they do. The videos show part of what I know must have been a long interaction and the policeman may not come across as the good guy.

But they are the good guys. They run into buildings, not know what is waiting for them. They enter homes where they know abuse is taking place.  They invade homes where drugs are being made and used. They stop cars of those who are drunk and again have no idea where that will end up.  Where others run away, they run in.  They show up at car accidents and find out the teens in the car are not going to graduate and they have to tell the parents.  They protect the innocent, help the helpless, and many times, they are not even thanked, but instead sworn at and attacked.
They will live the rest of their lives with the faces of those teens in their heads. They choose to keep them there. It motivates them to work harder to slow down the teen, get the drunk off the road, protect the spouse from abuse and get those drugs off the street.

Many will never go home. The dream of a long life ends in a heart beat. Another police officer will go to the family to tell them, that their police officer will not come home anymore.

So we put one blue light in the windowto honor their memory and to remind us that many police officers will not be home to see their children open gifts. They will not sing Christmas songs, or go to Midnight Worship or grow old. But, because of their sacrifice, others will.

I am not in any way trying to minimize what happened to the families in Connecticut last week. Those parents of those babies will hurt and cry and forever be changed, as will their entire community. They will never understand the evil that took the lives of those babies and those teachers who tried to protect them, shielding them with their very own bodies. Everyone lost that day. Everyone will suffer for a very long time.

I just wanted to remember the police officers who walked in those classrooms and who will forever have the photos of those babies in their minds and the photos of those teachers and administrators in their minds. All those precious bodies, all that blood, all that mess will forever change them.  No, no police officers died that day, but they ran into the building, knowing that they could.....

So we put out our one blue candle......

Hug your family.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thank you Joyce for taking time out of your busy week to come up with this weeks questions.  Come play.
Can you believe it's 12/12/12! I wonder who will be born at 12:12?  Now that would be impressive!

1. So, when did you last take a walk in the woods? A stroll along the beach? A drive going nowhere in particular in the car?
We drove around last week to look at other people's homes and Christmas decorations.  What fun.

2. Are you sending Christmas cards this year? About how many do you send? Photo card or something more traditional? How do you display the cards you receive?
Yes, we mail some and hand out most at Church and work.  I make the cards and every year we display them differently so I guess we are still looking for the perfect way to do so. We decided to do this this year.

A ribbon down the middle of the kitchen cabinets, then the cards are taped to the ribbon.  So far I like it.

3. What's a word you've heard too much of in the past week?
I can't think of anything that I heard too much of this week. Sorry.

4. December 13th is National Cocoa Day-are you a fan? Plain or flavored? Marshmallows or no marshmallows?
I do like hot cocoa but I like it either plain or caramel hot cocoa with mini marshmallows (however in a pinch I like Fluff)

5. What is something you do to help alleviate the hectic pace of the Christmas season?
Watch a Hallmark Christmas movie. There are lots to pick from. Add a nice cup of tea or cocoa and relaxing just happens.

6. Besides jewelry, what's a favorite sparkly-glittery item in your home or closet?
I have a bling iPhone case that I like.

7. Share a favorite line or two from any Christmas carol.
"God bless us, EVERYONE" Hubby's favorite is "BAH! Humbug!"

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Last week I blogged about not putting up lights outside.  Well, this week, Hubby did just that. He decorated a tree and added a few deer to the side yard. So we officially have outside lights now. No idea when he will take it all down. March?

During the day, it looks like this.

At night, like this

Ok your turn, how would you answer the questions?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

OK I'm Hooked and I blame Kim.

Kim is a wonderful friend of mine. She has a love of God, love of family, love of friends and a really good cook who has talked about this for a while. She finally got me to try it and I must say, Kim has good taste!

It's Spaghetti Squash.  It's so easy to make there are several ways to make it.  Since we had lots of time and I love having the oven on when the temperature dip low we cut it in half, scraped out the seeds, and placed it in a baking dish and popped it in the oven for about an hour.

Then it was just pull the "spaghetti" out of the shell and enjoy.

The shell, itself is really thin so there is a lot of Spaghetti in these things.

I added just a bit of real butter and a pinch of brown sugar twin (really didn't need it) and combined with Hubbies meat stuffing, it was the perfect meal.

And today's lunch as well.

So thank you Kim. I will be making it again...
Have you ever made Spaghetti Squash and if so, how do you cook it.. Now I want to try the other ways to make it.
Funny how something so simple can be so wonderful.  And It's Low Carb!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Weekend to Remember

It's really starting to look and feel like Christmas around here.  No, we don't have snow but we do have some sleet, freezing rain, which makes  for some crunchy, frozen grass to walk on so it sounds like Christmas.

Saturday, we had our Church Christmas Party and with about 60 of us packed into one of the members home (not ours!) it was cozy and lots of fun.

The host had more than one tree so this one was right inside the front door to greet you. It was so festive to walk in and see this.

With most things "Church Related" there was food......lots of great food!
This was just one of the dessert tables!  I really was proud of myself for staying away from this table until, at the end of the evening, the host told me she made fudge with chocolate and Velveta cheese.  Well, somehow that combination just called to me and I had to try it.. It was just delish.

Sunday, we finally got our decorations going.  We have a long way to go but we did make a dent in it.  My energy was down a bit and so we didn't get a lot done, but we did put up our little tree.
It's four feet tall and sits on a toy cabinet. I was surprised just how many decorations I was able to hang on it.  We are going to downsize some of the decorations this year. Later today, I hope we get more decorations up around the house.  

How about you. Do you decorate the entire house or just put up a tree and that it's?  How do you display the Christmas Cards you receive? I'm always looking for a different way to display them. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

We Are Starkers! Are You?

Do you put lights up on the outside of your house?  When do you put them up and then when do you take them down?
We don't put up outside lights. I don't really know why except it's cold up here although putting them up may not be too bad, taking them down in sub-zero temps is just not going to happen and leaving them  up until Spring, just seems silly.

So we drive around and look at others lights. Do you do that as well? Do you listen to Christmas music while you do that?
We like some.....
We love others......
And we are glad we don't live anywhere near a few.....
But we just about comment on all of them.

Here are a few photos of what we saw just in our area the other night.

One house had all white lights which is very nice.

But I really like the houses with colored lights.

One house had just a few lights in the windows. This photo doesn't do the house justice as it was simple and elegant.

While others light up the yard more than the house.

Where do you stand on the whole house lighting issue?  Do you like it?
Do you light up just the house or the yard as well?
White or colored lights?
Do you add music to the lights?
Do you light up the front and back or just the front?

I'm still looking for the "Over-the-top" house but so far, none are in our neighborhood.
I'm thankful for that.

Have a Blessed weekend and I'll see you Monday, Lord Willing...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's a Wednesday Christmas Hodgepodge

Well you know the drill by now right? Answer the questions here, visit others, make a comment on their blog and enjoy learning about all of us.  Now to my answers.

1.  Share your traditions surrounding the Christmas stocking. 
We hang our stockings on the mantle and they get filled with small things for us and our "kids", a.k.a. our dogs.  Christmas Eve we open 1 gift, and our stockings. We open the other gifts on Christmas Morning.

2.  How many hours of sleep do you average at night?  Is it enough?
I get a lot of sleep!! Often 9 or 10 hours with a nap in the afternoon. Yes that is a lot but it's all good!  For now, I need all that sleep so it is enough and my doctor is fine with it.

3.  If you had to give up one thing for the remainder of this year what would it be? 
Well, if I had to give up something, and clearly I get to pick the thing I'm giving up...... it will be laundry and I would just be fine with giving it up.

4.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (or Wills and Kate as I like to call them) have announced they're expecting a baby. Do you follow news of the Royals? 
I love keeping up with the Royals!  I am so happy for them and pray that Kate will be well throughout the pregnancy. I just so enjoy watching the kids grow up and remember watching Diana's wedding...  So to watch her two sons become men and fathers in their own right will be so much fun.

5.  For me,  the sound of childhood is beautiful, fun, exciting and a gift from God.

6.  Fruit cake-yay or boo? What's your favorite dessert made with fruit?
BOO. I wonder how long that fruit cake has been around both in terms of how long it's been in the cabinet and how many people re-gifted it.  
I really like any fruit pies, or upside down cakes, or, in the fall and winter, fruit cobbler!!  Bring it all on!!

7. What is one thing you want to accomplish before 2012 comes to an end?
I still need/want to get the rugs shampooed. They are usually done by now but as of today, they are not done!! I really need to get on that...maybe the weekend..

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I know that I have not been blogging a lot the last few weeks. I am so glad that I got the Christmas shopping done early because I would not have the time to get it done now.  I have been working full time,  sewing gifts, making Christmas cards, caring for August who was neutered last week and sleeping. Did you see my answer to #2!  I hope to be back at it soon.  I do miss blogging about our lives here in the upper right hand corner of the USA. I just run out of time.

Ok so now it's your turn to answer  Ready, Set Go! Remember the Elf of the Shelf is watching.....