Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Day

And may I say first to my Bubba,
I'm sorry to do this to you,
but really,
you were begging for this to happen by posing for the picture!

Just give him a guitar, and he'll play, even if it is hot pink...

Grandma Jane and Pa David made it down by late afternoon.

Pa was a great gift opener - just give him a pocket knife and some clippers.

Emma Grace and I got a picture in early in the morning...

And Chris caught his post-Santa nap while trying to rest his achin' back. Wanna see more? Check out my facebook page.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Elvish Shenanigans

So, this was Emma Grace's fifth Christmas and Ollie's first...
enjoy the pics here as well as at my facebook page.

Happy Birthday, Jesus...

Jesus, we love you.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2007

On the twelfth day...

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, twelve trash bags going, eleven carols singing, ten folks a'calling, nine timeouts standing, eight whiffs o'gas, seven 'ssemblies a-swayin', six parties waiting, fiiiiiive rubber bouggies, four winds a'whipping, three trips to church, two whiny kids and a house outside the city.

Does it amaze anyone else how much trash we create in preparation for Christmas day? There are wrappings and packaging and cooking messes and just an amazing amount of junk! Our trash man came Friday and we have a 90-some odd gallon curbside can nearly full, a 40 gallon can with a sack of trash already in it, and 4 black trash bags of paper and packaging in the garage already. It's nuts! However, I am trying to do my part...we've been conserving water here in Hotlanta and the 13 surrounding counties as well as having our vehicles emissions tested to help the air, why not hug a tree at Christmas, too. What the heck. I've decided that Santa does not wrap presents...yes, go ahead and gasp now...okay, ready to proceed? Yeah, you know you hate wrapping all those presents and some just require too much effort anyhow (because it is RARE for a child's toy to be packaged in a perfect little box) just to be torn asunder come the blessed morning after you've been up until almost sunrise only to have a fidget wander in your room 10 minutes after you fall asleep to ask if Santa has come yet and drag you from your warm cozy bed. So, Santa is not wrapping gifts, the stockings will be filled to the gills with the little stuff, and even our presents are wrapped in pre-used gift bags...the only thing new is the tissue paper and I even know folks that reuse that, but I had to draw the line somewhere. Santa is also pre-assembling most gifts. I do not want to spend all day Christmas screwing/unscrewing tiny screws, finding the screwdriver, losing the screwdriver only to have to find it again under all the mess. Plus, have you noticed how insanely packaged things are now...I remember when I was a kid that it did not require much effort to open a Barbie...OMG, now, it requires an engineering degree to remove Barbie from the box without striping her "skin" or cutting her hair or dislocating her shoulder. YIKES.

So, I'm thankful to have been blessed so abundantly to be able to rant about trash, to have a trash man who takes it all away, to be able to try to teach my kids to conserve what they can thus attempting to begin teaching them how to be good stewards of all that will be entrusted to them, and to "learn 'em" how to appreciate it all as blessing from their Daddy. I'm a blessed mommy who will have to smile tonight as I drink my 10th cup of coffee and rub my 10th rub of vicks under my drippy nose, yes, I'll just have to smile. =) Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

On the eleventh day...

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, eleven carols singing, ten folks a'calling, nine timeouts standing, eight whiffs o'gas, seven 'ssemblies a-swayin', six parties waiting, fiiiiiive rubber bouggies, four winds a'whipping, three trips to church, two whiny kids and a house outside the city.

Ahhh, the pre-Christmas combined worship service - meaning you contemporary young-ins sing what we sing for today - and we'll turn the heat up, too - 'cause our bones get the chill and you young-ins can just sweat...Can you tell that I'm mostly uncomfortable when I'm dropped out of my contemporary box and land in the middle of a traditional place very similar to the churches we all grew up in??? So, we sang our seemingly eleven Christmas carols and I'll wait with a happy heart for Chris to pull out the acoustic guitar at "hearth's edge" so we can sing our heart's desires to our Lord in our own home in our own way (which by the way this year will have to include Crowder's version of Feliz Navidad and "O Praise Him" seems to fit, too - gosh darned it) and I'll hang on until the new year with longing to again corporately worship and lead in worship without folks' eyes glued to the screen or buried in a hymnal...and by the way, a few of those Sundays, I'll be doing that, hopefully, from our home church in Fort Mill. I'm so excited I could just, well, ...

So, I'm thankful, that while we were all singing the seemingly eleven carols during the service today ultimately to worship God's awesomeness - one more of His children came into His arms - and if that girl could find Jesus, I can have a happy heart that God came to church today and that's ALL that ever matters...God showed up and we did, too, with the right hearts. Amen. He's so good even to "a wretch like me." I can never forget how my precious Savior came to "save a wretch like me." Yeah, AMEN.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

On the tenth day...

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, ten folks a'calling, nine timeouts standing, eight whiffs o'gas, seven 'ssemblies a-swayin', six parties waiting, fiiiiiive rubber bouggies, four winds a'whipping, three trips to church, two whiny kids and a house outside the city.

I mean we're not rock-stars even if we wished we were, but it's nice to get some holiday cheer by phone, card or visit. We have been getting phone calls, emails and of course, cards wishing us well and asking us how Georgia really is. =) I will have to say that the holiday calls started with a very surprising and happily received call from one of my best-good friends - so, hats off to you Mrs. Jen Wade - children's leader extraordinaire - for taking a moment from your hectic holidayingness to call me - it was so nice to hear your voice. I've even gotten an email from my childhood best friend of 2o-some odd years - good grief, that's a stinkin' long time - and for her and her crazy busy life - that's a Christmas miracle as is hearing from Mrs. Wade across the miles and 2 hour time zone that I often forget about. Since then, I've chatted with my mom and his mom and my grandmother (which I realized the other day that my dad's mom is our only living grandparent, meaning --- that she is our kids' only living great grandparent - reminding me some extra effort is required on my part to give her the gift of knowing her great grandchildren in this life before Heaven.) Okay, so focusing again, Chris has talked to a few of his buddies, too - Uncle Moody, Uncle Billy and Uncle Joe have all talked to my head of household this week, so it's so nice - remembering our friends and family - it's a warm fuzzy - it really is - we miss everyone so much and remembering them and them remembering us as we celebrate Jesus' birthday is so great. God is cool. All the time.

So, I'm thankful for family and friends, near (my folks are here this weekend) or far or farther than that. (I think El Paso may be on the other side of the earth or at least on that part of the map that's in the crease...) =) Just simply so thankful. I love you, Jesus. Happy Birthday.

Friday, December 21, 2007

On the ninth day...

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me nine timeouts standing, eight whiffs o'gas, seven 'ssemblies a-swayin', six parties waiting, fiiiiiive rubber bouggies, four winds a'whipping, three trips to church, two whiny kids and a house outside the city.

What is it about Christmas time that causes children to lose their minds and us our faculties? My kids have been exceeding "nuts" requiring a minimum of nine timeouts/corrections per day per kid as the magic hour approaches. It's like a standing deal that there will be a minimum of nine timeouts in a day. Emma Grace has realized that we are getting Christmas gifts in the mail and has also realized that baby brother cannot open them. So, double fun for her, but then she must think that possession in 9/10's of the law because she will then hog, block, and push (ever so gently, mind you) her brother away from her toys as well as his. I have had it up to wherever it is you have it up to --- honestly! Everyone is getting presents - share for goodness sakes! But, here I must confess that being an only child I really never had to deal with this at all plus, my childhood friends will tell you I was stingy the child is cursed, go genetics, and really for 4 years, she never really had to share anything for more than a few hours at a time's yet another rude awakening that the kid must endure/suffer through on the road to growing up with a little brother after being the first child of ours and first grandchild of both of her sets of grandparents. And Ollie is just being a baby, but a very big and strong, and strong-willed, mobile baby. He has already at 9 months gotten attitude adjustments - I do not believe anyone that says babies do not know better...yeah, I say no in my mommy voice repeatedly and he stops, only for a moment mind you to make eye contact and then, yanks the lamp cord anyhow...right, he doesn't understand. uh-huh.

So, I'm thankful for having my hands full raising my two wonders - after all, I get to stay at home with them and raise them myself - Lord help me (and He really does - everyone is still alive in our house) - it's a luxury that wasn't afforded to my mom or my mother-in-law - one that comes with a pretty high price - but I'm grateful for the chance - you only get one chance to raise your kids right, that's what we're hoping and praying we're doing. And if it's my full time and all the time job for the next 15 years or so that's okay, just save me a room on Bull Street, I will need it by then if I haven't already checked in with my lovely white coat that ties in the back...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

On the eighth day...

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me eight whiffs o'gas, seven 'ssemblies a-swayin', six parties waiting, fiiiiiive rubber bouggies, four winds a'whipping, three trips to church, two whiny kids and a house outside the city.

I know, I know, yes, you would think gas in that sense, but I mean, for real, gas as in natural gas. I came home from shopping tonight and I swore that I smelled natural gas when I opened the front door at 9 pm. But, I had cooked a lot today on my gas range and Chris had cleaned the kitchen including the first whiff was dismissed. Then I walked into the kitchen next to the range and thought hmmmm, I smell gas, "Chris, do you smell gas?" This went on, really, about eight times, when at 11 o'clock, my panic has risen to an all-new level and I made Chris go sniff one more time, then we HAD to call the gas company. So, the very nice gas man came out by 11:30ish to find a very tiny gas leak at the connection in the kitchen to the range. Finally, mommy would sleep well. The very nice and funny gas man left by midnight and thus, began the eighth day of Christmas, gratefully, without a bang. ;) Sorry, I couldn't resist that one.

So, I'm thankful for the very nice gas man from the Atlanta Gas Light Company that has for the second time since we've lived in Georgia set my mind at ease...and for a husband willing to keep walking to the kitchen to smell for gas and for two great kids that were oblivious to my paranoia. Ahh, good night's sleep ahead..."Sleep in Heavenly Peace"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On the seventh day...

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me seven 'ssemblies a-swayin', six parties waiting, fiiiiiive rubber bouggies, four winds a'whipping, three trips to church, two whiny kids and a house outside the city.

Wanna know my least favorite phrase today? "Some assembly required" or my new favorite "Adult assembly required." The former means putting this toy together will test your patience and endurance as well as muscle strength. The latter means that putting this toy together will test your free will, your religion, life as you know it as well as requiring superhuman strength. I know well of such things, too well, and still have many more to attempt. Last night I put together a storage bin organizer for Ollie's room, it had "some assembly required" and honestly, that one gave me a blister from screwing in by hand 24 wood screws into pre-drilled holes that were pre-drilled crooked and too small. Glory! Then, came the Disney Princess Glitter doll house, it had "adult assembly required" and oh dear, plastic flimsy "golden" pieces that would not "pop in" as the directions stated, the fear of then breaking the goofy flimsy "golden" pieces when trying to force them in, then a sheet of 27 stickers - where only 17 of which had assigned places to be stuck --- then leaving the putter-together-er at a loss and confounded as to where the last 10 stickers go - wondering is a page of directions missing, or did I randomly miss 10 stickers --- causing your mind to twist and turn and become obsessed with finding where those last golly-boppin' stickers go! But, I digress. I did come to my senses and decided that my 4 year old little girl would probably just have fun putting on the last 10 evil stickers herself and even if I did get the flimsy "golden" pieces to "pop in" they would just pop out during play, world began turning again on its axis and time went forward...the world was a better place and I went to bed at 11:50pm where my dear sweet precious Bubba was already snoring atop the heating pad because he'd already hurt his back from previous nonsensical holidayish putting-togethering from the weekend. Honestly, I've considered hiring teenagers from church to do the "assemblying"...wouldn't be considered slave labor or child labor or sweat shop stuff, would it?

So, I'm thankful, wait, yes, I am thankful, for a nice warm bed and that come Christmas morning my kids will enjoy/destroy these "assembly required" nightmares and in the end, it will be worth it. It will be. And I'll smile and enjoy the wonder on their faces - and I'll remember then like I am now that it's not about the gifts - it's so all about the greatest gift ever given to me, to my kids, my family, everybody...Jesus, without Him, I would be nothing...and would have no opportunity to even attempt "assembly required" gifts.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On the sixth day...

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, six parties waiting, fiiiiiive rubber bouggies, four winds a'whipping, three trips to church, two whiny kids and a house outside the city.

O' tis the season, isn't it? I have phone calls and emails to return from every mom in every group that Emma Grace participates in wanting to have another party and me bring something else just to push the next group of short people in to sugar madness and me into the nut house. Bull Street here I come! and we all know I hate to make phone calls! So, I'm counting down and maybe today, I'll have enough rightness of heart to happily return all those calls. ugh. I don't mean to be a grinch, but it just starts getting tiresome and takes the fun out things to run around like a chicken with my head cut off. I'm so tired I feel like I've been chasing a chicken with its head cut off. Am I chasing myself? Now, that's a mental picture.

So, I'm thankful, for Christmas spirit, even when I run low - and for people that want to fill their kids with sugar so they have fun, and for naptimes...yes, thank you, Jesus, for nap. We may all take one today!

Monday, December 17, 2007

On the fifth day...

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, fiiiiiive rubber bouggies, four winds a'whipping, three trips to church, two whiny kids, and a house outside the city.

Caution - this post is not for the faint of heart and/or stomach!

Yes, I said rubber bouggies. Emma Grace has started to get stuffed up again now that we had to turn the heat back on (imagine, once it dips into the lower 30s, heat is required, sissies!)...and we have the rubber snots as my friend Sheri would say. It's not pretty, she sneezes and slime (yeah, you remember green slime from watching Nickelodeon when you were a kid - that is if you had cable - apparently, my hubby lived so far out in the country that he didn't have cable growing up - funny that he ended up working at the cable/phone company), anyway, back to the story, yes, slime flies out only to return to the nostril from which it came to hang until a mommy-type person can be called to rectify the situation, gag, and grab the rubber snot to extricate...yes, a very delicate process, folks, very delicate indeed.

So, I'm thankful for good tissues, not the cheap kind that the rubber snots can escape from and attack the bouggie retriever...and I'm thankful that for now all we have in the household are the rubber snots.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

On the fourth day...

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me four winds a'whipping, three trips to church, two whiny kids and a house outside the city.

So, we prayed for rain and during my three trips to church, we have had gully washers! Cold, heavy rain, but thank God, it is rain. Last night and this morning have however brought less rain and very gusty winds - up to 40 mph. It's crazy...last week we were wearing shorts in the yard playing in the upper 70's and today we were wearing our full length leather coats in the upper 30's.

So, I'm thankful for the rain, for my leather coat, and that tonight concludes my three trips to church for this day! I'm also thankful for Chris's willingness to assemble presents that have "some assembly required." =) It's getting to be that time...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

On the third day...

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, three trips to church, two whiny kids, and a house outside the city. Okay, so that's just three trips to church(es) in the next 24 hours or so because it's church contata time, it's church contata time, or as more modern people would say, the church's adult choir Christmas presentation. =)

We've been plugged in at Kennesaw FBC for a good bit now and Emma Grace sang with the children's choir last Sunday night (a miracle in itself, trust me - last year, it was time to sing, and Chris's parents had accidentally sat through the "frozen chosen" and when it was time for her to sing, she wouldn't go out. I believe her grandma actually called her a "little bouger" for the first time ever - I didn't know she had it in her. lol.) So, now, it's my turn to sing with/at KFBC. Tonight, as an outreach, the adult choir will travel to Powder Springs to a host church to share our Christmas thing and lead in worship for a baby sister church that doesn't have a choir or a building even large enough to hold us, but God can use it, can't He? Doesn't He? I've met their worship team and you can see Jesus working through them, precious...hence, first trip to church. (God is so cool.) Then in the morning, Chris and I will practice/play with the contemporary praise band to help lead worship for the 11am service at KFBC, second trip to church. (Again, enter the God is so cool part.) Then in the afternoon, I'll head back to church early, to sing again with the choir to share/lead the Christmas thing with our own congregation...hence, the third trip, and hopefully, final one of the next 24 hours. God is so cool that really no matter where you are, if you're really willing to use your gifts, He'll plug you in...I never really had to do much except show up...and isn't that all God really asks...for His people to show up and let Him do the work??? Hmmm, point to ponder, got your willing heart ready or are you saving it up for yourself? It's easy to save it up, then you don't have to work or hurt or miss can just be alone and be numb...hmmmm, really want God to leave you alone?

So, I'm thankful for three trips to church - to do what Jesus said - and to celebrate His coming - and to just SHOW UP - to miss loved ones - to roll up my sleeves - to have a little pain in the joy. I am so grateful that all I really have to do is have a willing heart and just show up.

Friday, December 14, 2007

On the second day...

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...two whiny kids and a house outside the city. Does anyone else feel the pain? or pains in the derrière? ;)

So, yesterday I counted my blessings and today two of my favorite blessings about put me down for the count. I've had the kids or the whiny heinies as they may be called for a very long time --- Chris was supposed to hang out with the guys after work to "jam" and come home late - which he did come home late, but he got stuck working the whole time (YUCK! One of us should have had some fun!) so he went to work Thursday around 7ish and stayed late and so, I became the one woman show...He was up with us and took Emma Grace to school, but I'll have them all day today until he's home from work, so just about 36 hours when it's all said and done...and whew, does it need to be said and done.

So, I'm thankful that I'll be off duty tonight, for a Bubba with a great job that even working late isn't awful, and for free babysitters that arrive tonight...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On the first day of Christmas...

(Imagine my voice here - you know you can...) On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...a house outside the city.

Yes, sometimes, I still can't believe that I - me - Jennifer Ellen Durst Whisonant - me, stubborn(no snickers required here and remember when you point fingers, there are many pointing back at you), and vowed to live in Rock Hill, SC my whole life long - currently reside in a suburb of a suburb of a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. I am still in shock, I think. But, Christ, my True Love, and Chris, my true love, have generously and amazingly moved me to a great home in Acworth. We're settling in and making it ours. We've even had play dates and company over, too. (Yes, I got over the "the house isn't ready" junk.) Yesterday at the end of a long process, I finally cleared out a closet for Chris's "wood-shed" as he lovingly calls it. Again, I gave up storage (at the last house it was my gigantic linen closet) closets for his "other" children. I am just grateful it only requires ONE big closet. LOL. It was a labor of love - many things are these days - but all counted great joy, whether in the moment or in retrospect.

So, I'm thankful...
for my home, but more for my family and for my provider and Jehovah Jirah.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Pic Attempts Futile...

Okay, so some of our friends posted their Christmas card outtakes - which means they actually got a good picture from the bunch to have printed and send out. We attempted this tonight and with 2 kids - it failed miserably. So, here are a few of the out-takes.
You can see the rest at my facebook page.
And the winners are...

See, how nice sissy looks?

Yes, and just as we get the camera out, Ollie threw up carrots from dinner on his new white PJ shirt...of course.

Say what???

I'm tired of this, mom...

I surrendered...
It was time for tickles and bed, who knows if we'll end up having a Christmas picture card or even a picture for a card...We're gonna try again soon. Eieieieiei.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Yes, I am a slacker!

What can I say? I'd like to say that I'm back, but right now, I feel a little nuts. I still haven't totally unpacked every box from the move --- then we went home to the Thrill for almost 3 weeks --- and now, I have more half-unpacked boxes of Christmas stuff everywhere. There really isn't any good excuse - because I know some of you can handle more, oh so much more. =) Right now, too, I can't figure out where all our pictures or can't manage to get them to a place where I can put them on my blog...and heck, what's a new post without pictures??? BOOOOring!

So, anywho...we're alive and well and chugging along here in GA. Emma Grace will sing with the children in their musical tomorrow night in the evening service and I'll sing with the "big kids" next Sunday night in the Christmas presentation. We've dug in here at FBC-Kennesaw - we've plugged in with their praise band, too. Not sure when we'll change from "visitors" yet, but it's a nice place to have some roots right now...and the people are precious, they've not had a senior pastor in over 18 months and they keep on with the keeping on. They have a new interim for now, Dan Moran, who his home church is The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham. It's lively and interesting, set up like FBCFM with a traditional early service and a "contemporary" later service...and Emma Grace goes to school at the church - so she has plugged in without strife...thank goodness. We're just hanging in there doing what it is that we know God called us to do last, waiting for a fresh word for what's we're in a holding pattern 'cause we feel that's where God wants to use us for today.

And that's our little, stories and merriments to return any day now...=)