Monday, December 31, 2012

10,000------A Milestone!

Thank you, readers, for visiting my blog.

I wish you all a wonderful New Year!

May you be blessed.

Obama

Can't help but direct my thoughts to the man who holds office right now.

He's teflon for the left, deflecting any blame for any of the issues of the year: Afghanistan, Syria, Benghazi, the Fiscal Cliff.

But I know whom to blame, and I am flummoxed by the "pie-in-the-sky" belief that HE can't be blamed.

As a religious conservative with deep beliefs in the right to life, the right to personal freedom, and the freedom of religion I can only reiterate what a disaster this administration has been.

What does the new year bring?

Economic collapse? Health care woes? The deterioration of morals? Personal rights infringed?

We know who to blame. It lies squarely in the lap of the one who instigated it all.

Mr. Obama.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100195943/the-5-worst-things-that-obama-did-in-2012-besides-winning-the-election/

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-administration-we-can-and-will-force-christians-act-against-their-faith

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/understanding-the-times/ 

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Word on the Current Movie Scene

There are several movies that my people are twittering about right now.

I intend to see one today. (I go to the theater about once a year, and it usually has to do with what my book club has decided to select for December---we see a movie during that busy month instead of reading a book)

A word about "Les Miserables:"
Having read the book about 10 years ago, and having watched the Broadway version via TV, I must say this---the new movie, however spectacular it might be, must not be a substitute for the reading of Hugo's wonderful story.

The book brought me to tears for its beauty, its tenderness, its epic quality. Perhaps the new movie has captured some of that, but I wonder.

I have no plans to disturb the images in my mind from my reading yet, but perhaps I'll see it later when it comes out as a DVD.

If you loved it---read the book!

I won't even start on "The Hobbit."  Here is a nice little link related to that epic today: Why 'hobbit' is a word of praise

At least these movies are based on classics....

New Year's Resolutions

It's that time again!

I confess I love it. It's a new start, a blank page, a time to look forward!

What's on your list?

I'll share mine:

1. Get Healthier

2. Keep Christ First

3. Stay Focused on the Most Important Tasks of my life.

4. Enjoy the ride!

5. Practice Gratefulness

6. Pay Attention to the One Who Needs

7. Complete the Projects Already Begun.........:)

God has blessed me abundantly this year. I have learned to be more grateful, even for things that appear to be curses. I am only more trusting in His power over my life, more aware of His presence, more in love with Him. I see the huge difference He makes in my life compared to the people I know who don't know Him personally. The Lord is truly everything to me. I am humbled by His Power and His Mercy. I am overwhelmed by His Goodness.

I am completely at peace with the new challenges I've been dealt. I know the road goes up and down, and we have a rocky and dangerous path ahead, but my Lord God is with me every step.

Will it be cancer?
Will it be death?
Will it be suffering and pain?
Loss?

Of course. We should expect that.

This is life.

Today we stand as His grateful servants. We hope in Him for healing and joy. We trust His power over every aspect of our lives, and we look to Him.

Over the cliff?
True believers have no fear.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Nice Christmas

I hope you had a wonderful day celebrating Christmas!

It's strange how we change from year to year, either from physical illness or age, emotional stress, or philosophical influence. Christmas is one of those test-markers for taking inventory on these statuses (or stati) for me, and I would suspect for many of us.

Since I watched "The Star" about Bethlehem's star and the astronomical events surrounding the likely time of Christ's birth I see Christmas somewhat differently.

Yes, we celebrate Jesus' birthday (though it likely was in June), we give gifts (like the wise men) and feast like the pagans, but each year something changes.

We love to see our children satisfied with a happy Christmas. We enjoy the warmth of friendships and invitations to parties. We are moved by the sweet music. We like to reflect.

Christmas is a time of waiting. I find myself increasingly longing for the second appearance of our Lord at this time of year.

No matter how perfect the year has been, with expectations surpassed, it seems that as we mature the longing intensifies.

How long, O Lord? How long?

Your people long for your reappearing! Death, where is your sting? Grave, where is your victory?

And we wait. We live, we serve, we love, we laugh.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Limpa

There is a funny (to us Scandinavians) cookbook called "Lutheran Church Basement Women--Lutefisk, lefse, lunch and Jell-O" that I have on my shelf.

It actually has a photo of my own great-grandma in it on page 51. She was a Lutheran Church Basement Woman.

I made the Limpa recipe on page 21 last night.  I used citron instead of grated orange peel, and I increased the sugar by 1/4 a cup. I halved the recipe, and still ended up with 4 round loaves.

It's good. REALLY good!!

I plan to take it to the Smorgasbord on Christmas Eve at my parents, along with the Jansson's Temptation. 

My parents have been concocting fruit soup and meatballs, red cabbage and treats all week.

Should be quite the feast, as usual.

Don't you wish you were there too? :)


Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Dark of the Year

Outside our friends' home in Wiesbaden the night before we returned home.


If it weren't for the lights, the smells and the Christmas preparation we'd all feel a little dark right now.

I'm still working off of the "high" of our trip, reliving each moment and memory, remembering things from my first time in Germany, 25 years ago.

I never thought it would be so long before we returned, but I am grateful for the refreshment of good old times and for the fruitful years in between.

Perhaps you've watched Ed on the organ in the previous post. Truly it was an experience of a lifetime for any 14 year old! Herr Hielscher was a gracious helper and host to this experience.

Ed baked bread and worked on the piano today. Our old 1907 piano needed to be tuned and adjusted today. The piano tuner said it will be fine for another hundred years...! It's ready for the carols to be played.

Ed had his practice time on the organ at the catholic church in our neighborhood. They were decorating for Christmas while he played. He's starting to have an audience! The last two times I wasn't the only one sitting in the pews listening.

Actually his teacher told him yesterday that he is ready to play for a service. Guess that will be in January.

I just made sweet potato cake. I'll frost it with cream cheese frosting and distribute it to the neighbors. I like to do something (little) for our neighbors every year, even if it's a quick little thing.

This year I tried the Pinterest idea of using a Sharpie on white plates to draw decorations. It worked pretty well. The colors turned in the oven some, but it was fun to do. These plates are perfect to give the neighbors, filled with something yummy, of course.

Margaret is chugging through her finals. She will be vastly relieved to finish after tonight. My older sons are dallying away their vacation already! I must put them to work on something soon...

Ed made Spritz cookies, Cherie made gingerbread men. We've been treated to See's Candy and delicious homemade cookies from my husband's co-workers! How spoiled we are!

I made up a batch of Chai Tea mix AND Russian Spice tea mix last night. It's been fueling the younger set today!

My friends in Germany have sent coffee home with us, with the proper filters for an "Echte Kaffee"----a real treat with Christmas cookies.

I started to write my Christmas cards ----yes, they will be late this year, unless I can finish them tonight. I've got presents to wrap and packages to mail. I'm running late, but that is the story of my life when it comes to Christmas!

I finished knitting red wool mittens last night for......???? (I know!)  I had the inspiration as we were reading the Betsy-Tacy books this fall.  The mittens turned out really cute!

And it IS the last day of fall, and days will begin to get longer after tomorrow!

And the darkness will dispel.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ed Plays...

Accountability

This is "Bavaria," the statue that overlooks the Theresienwiese in Munich. Can you spot Ed and Cherie running up to it?

It reminds me of the Statue of Liberty, yet it stands as a memorial to great Bavarians.

As we returned from our fantastic trip we have met our responsibilities and obligations head-on running up to the holidays.

And we've been hit by the tragic events of our own country.

I read.  Am I the only one who sees our liberty as American Citizens seeping away?

Naturally evil plays a role, but we see this clenching hand of over-regulation squeezing ever tighter.

Some cultures (perhaps German) seem to feel snug within a body of like-minded cultural regulations. It's in their DNA to be uniform.

Alas, America is not like that!  We are the melding of the world. It is our liberty that unites us, and we pay the price of liberty.

That is where God is essential to that liberty, as we need the moral compass He provides to rule ourselves.

As the moral compass drifts we kiss the treasured personal liberty away.

It is a sign of our failure.

How long? How long will we drift?

Watch and wait.

Monday, December 17, 2012

From Our Fall Concert...

A little hope:

Built on a Rock

A Society in Decay

Brace for Yoga

This article reports on another I'd seen a few weeks back.

Yoga Programs In School

Really, it is amazing how Satan is trying to ooze his counter religion into our lives!

Yoga is a practice of Hinduism, and it should not be tolerated any more than prayer in any school. Change the laws to allow PRAYER, and Yoga becomes fine.

Each yoga position channels a demon from the Hindu religion.

Do you want YOUR children channeling demons?

Please take the time to read "The Beautiful Side of Evil," by Johanna Michaelsen. 
PDF Free Download! 
(You will be asked to complete a survey and you might get phone calls)

We deal with evil masked as light every day. It is up to us to seek out the pure milk of the WORD OF GOD (The Bible) for our lives, not seeking false paths to peace.

Call me a 21st Century siren----I don't care----but until we see evil for what it is we will die as a culture.

Yoga is the practice of calming the body to enter the next death, the next reincarnation.

As an avid swimmer at the local YMCA I come into contact with poor women in the locker room, their unhappy faces after the last "death prep" yoga course.

Do we really want our children practicing death on a daily basis?

Oh, wait, I guess it's a sign of our culture. Perhaps it is appropriate for this age of apostasy after all???? Pardon the cynic in me today...

Yoga Programs In School