Monday, December 15, 2008

Rocky Butte Christmas Get Together Cancelled

Ladies, we are so sorry, but due to inclement weather that has forced the closure of most of the schools in the metro area, we are canceling the Mom2Mom Christmas Get Together.

Our regular Mom2Mom Café will resume on February 3, 2009 on all campuses.

Snow Day Fun and Cold Weather Tips

Since moving to the Northwest after living in the mountains for so many years, I really miss snowy winters. That's why I got so excited when I woke up yesterday to this.... 
I personally love snow days because they are a great excuse to stay home and enjoy the family. Besides sledding, snowball fights and snow angels, it's a good time to just have fun playing games, doing crafts, and building forts.

Since it's going to be a week of bitterly cold weather here is some advice from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to ‘weather’ the winter in a healthy way:

● Cover your head. You lose as much as 50 percent of your body heat through your head.
● Wear several layers of lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. The air between the layers
acts as insulation to keep you warmer.
● Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect lungs from direct, extremely cold air. Cover
your ears and lower part of your face as well.
● Wear mittens rather than fingered gloves. The close contact of fingers helps to keep
your hands warm.
● Wear warm leg coverings and heavy socks, or two pairs of lightweight socks.
● Wear waterproof boots or sturdy shoes to keep your feet warm and dry.

Here is a Snow Day Schedule from the Family Fun website designed to keep kids entertained all day:

I hope you are all enjoying the snow as much as I am. I'd love to hear what you are doing to enjoy this snow day. Have fun and keep safe. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I am feeling so thankful for these words found in Philippians 4:6,7: 

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (NLT)

This time of year can be hard for so many, but the truth is that no matter what is going on in our own lives, in the world around us or in the economy, there is a peace that each one of us has access to through Jesus. We just have to go to him, thank him for what he’s already done and tell him what we need.

At church this month, Pastor Frank is doing a series called: Peace – It is well with my soul. If you missed the message last weekend, you can listen to it here:

Moms, if you have a need today, I encourage you to go to God with all of your concerns and worries and allow him the opportunity to pour his peace over your life.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas is a time for...

In a society that seems to be centered around self, I am always confronted with the thought that "it is not all about me". During the Holidays is a really special time to be able to slow down a little bit and reach out to someone else. The Christmas season serves as a good reminder that we are really blessed, and that blessing comes from God for a particular reason. I really want to honor God with what He has put in my hands. I am actively pursuing opportunities this year that we, as a family, can work together to bless other families.

I really want to instill into the hearts of my children an awareness of people around them, the needs those people may have and that there REALLY is something we can do about it.. even if we are only 5 in number! I want to have a great time building memories with my kids... come to think of it, some of my BEST memories of my childhood were times that we went reached beyond our four walls of our home and did some sort of random act of kindness. So, as Christmastime rapidly approaches, I am asking God to give me some creative ideas of ways to impact my neighbors and friends and also the lives of the little ones that He has entrusted me with.

I have a few ideas, but I am wondering if any of you might have some ideas or traditions that you might be willing to pass along?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Teaching Children the True Meaning of Christmas

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11

These days, everywhere we go we see the evidence of Christmas quickly approaching. Decorations going up, Christmas music piped in, more Santas than we can count, not to mention the commercials on television leading our children to believe that it’s all about getting presents. So how do we parents teach our children the true meaning of Christmas? 

That answer lies in what we do during the Christmas season. If we are too busy with all the preparations to spend time teaching them what Christmas is really about, then how can we expect them to know the truth? If we want our children to learn about the true meaning of Christmas then it is up to us to teach them. If we take the time to put Christ at the center of our holiday, we will be giving our kids the greatest gift they will ever receive, the gift of Jesus. 

So just how can we make sure that our children know Christmas is about celebrating the birth of our Savior and about the gift of giving, not about how many new toys they will receive? I’d like to share a few suggestions that worked for us. 

Teach them the story of Jesus’ birth. When our girls were young we would spend the month of December memorizing the 2nd Chapter of Luke (you’d be amazed how quickly young minds can memorize). We would work on it as a family every day and then recite it on Christmas Eve at the annual Christmas party. For bedtime story read children’s stories to reinforce what they are memorizing in scripture. 

Buy a Nativity scene your children can play with and put it out together. This is a great opportunity to talk about the story of Jesus’ birth. 

Buy a gift for a child in need. Each year we set up a Blessing Tree at church. On it are tags with gift requests for children. Let your child pick one from the tree and help you pick a gift to return in it’s place. 

Have your child pick out and give away one of their toys (in good condition) to a child who has none. This is a great way to teach children to share what they have with someone in need. While you are at it, take that extra coat or blanket you don’t use and give it to a homeless person. 

Take a single mom’s children shopping so they can give her a gift on Christmas. This not only blesses the mom, but also the child that gets to pick out and wrap a gift for mom without her having to pay for it. 

Adopt a family.  When our children were little we were Youth Pastors and every year we would pick a family or two in need and provide Christmas for them. We would collect everything needed for Christmas dinner and the gifts on their gift lists. Sometimes we even gave them the tree and decorations. A couple days before Christmas we would deliver it to their home.

Invite someone who has no family in town to spend the day with your family. If you don’t know any, the Bible College has plenty of students who are unable to go home and be with their families.

This is just a sampling of the many ways we can show Christ's love and teach our children the true meaning of Christmas. I would love to hear from you. What do you do to keep the focus on Jesus at Christmas?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy December

I can't believe it! Is it really December 1st already? How in the world did that happen?

I had all these great intentions of posting last week and wouldn't you know it, I got sick. Sick enough to spend 3 whole days in bed. And well, when you're sick in bed, it's really hard to put a sensible thought together, let alone a whole post that makes any sense at all. Thank God that I have such a sweet husband that he did all of my housework to get ready for a houseful on Thanksgiving. :) 

I hope you all had as wonderful a Thanksgiving as I did, surrounded by family and friends, remembering all of the blessings we've received this year. 

And now I am officially in Christmas mode. While some people start putting up lights, trees and other Christmas decor before Thanksgiving, I have a very strict personal policy that I don't do anything of the sort until the day after Thanksgiving. Very early the day after. Like 4:30 a.m. early. I never used to get the whole 'get up while it's still dark to go shopping the day after you just finished hosting 25 people for dinner' thing. Last year I got talked into going and after being caught up in the claustrophobic, wall-to-wall whirlpool of people that were in Toys R Us, I was back home, in my bed sleeping before 7:00 a.m.. And I said I would never do that again. Nope. It wasn't worth it. 

So...there I was at 4:45 last Friday morning, waiting patiently for the doors of Wal Mart to open, wondering how in the world I got talked into this craziness again. If you have never experienced this you can't even believe how many people are out that time of morning. The line was so long, that it took us 25 minutes just to get to the front doors once they started letting people in. Once we had everything on our lists, we found a checkout line in the back of the store in the sporting goods section and stood in line for another 30 minutes. But we didn't mind because the amount of money we saved definitely made it worth it. I think being more organized with our lists probably had something to do with it being more enjoyable. :)

So now I am in full-on Christmas mode. The house is lit, the tree is decorated and the Nativity is set out. 

In the coming days and weeks as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, I'll be sharing some ideas and traditions from when our children were little that helped us to keep the focus on the true meaning of Christmas. I am looking forward to you sharing yours as well. Until then....

Happy December!!