Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Closing out 2008 and Walking into 2009

Is it just me or is everyone breathing a sigh of relief that 2008 is about to be history? I thank God, you have no idea how much I thank Him, for 2008. I can honestly say that this year has been the toughest year of my life. I feel like I got hit on every side, everything seemed to fall apart. Loved ones passing away, sickness in the family, and dark days. BUT I've made it through alive!! Through it all, I learned that my God is faithful and He truly cares for me. He was and still is moving and taking things off so that I can be the person that He needs me to be in 2009.

If I didn't go through the things I went through I would never have known God like I do. Every day He's opened me up to a new part of Him. I feel so humbled that He loves me enough to work on me and make me a better person.

I have made resolutions for the coming year, I have my "lose weight" one of course, but these are my top three. I don't share my resolutions to just anyone, but for some reason I just want to here... seems right somehow.
First and foremost - I want to trust God like never before. I want to put my faith in Him and cast all my cares upon Him. Give up control... (Lord, help me with this one! haha)
Second - I want to be a witness of Him more than ever before. I want to be used by Him to show people that this world we live in isn't all there is. We don't have to worry about the economy or the crime and evilness of the world we live in. He's prepared a place for us, where there is no worry, no fear of tomorrow. He's prepared it for all, but only those that are filled with His spirit, baptized in His name and covered in His blood will see it and "live" there forever. I want to show people that they can make it! God's word says that He desires that ALL would be saved, but He's left the choice up to us. I pray that He shines through me in 2009.
Third - I want to be content in whatsoever state I am. I pray for the blessings of God, but He knows what's best for me. He blesses me in how He sees fit to. I want to be content and not wish or want for something better all the time. Content in the life He's given me and accept every blessing from Him along the way.

Those are my top three things that I want God to accomplish in me this year. This year holds so much for us, get ready to grasp the blessing of God and look forward to what He has in store for His own.

I wish you all a prosperous and blessed beyond belief New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Better than a Red Ryder

Christmas morning my siblings and parents gather in the family room around the tree and fire and open our gifts. Many, many gifts. I always feel the need to explain to people that come over why there are so many gifts under both trees and even in corners. Since we all, my siblings and I, started making our own incomes some as long as 18 years ago, we have always splurged a little on each other. A little sibling love to last throughout the next year and maybe even to make up for the hard times we put each other through as any good sister or brother would do.

My parents are no exception, we love to spoil them with all the things they wanted but didn't buy for themselves. They've always done the same to us.

This year, with the way the economy has been, everyone was pretty tight. We still tried to spend the same amount as we always do, but knew that we couldn't expect (for lack of a better word) too much. I expected to have a meaningful Christmas but nothing prepared me for the feeling we had this Christmas morning.

After all our gifts were opened from each other, my parents brought out a gift for each of us and multiple gifts for my SIL. (She had not put anything grand on her wish list)

I opened my gift and gasped. I had the feeling of when Ralphie opened his Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Words flew out of my head and I cried. Yep, cried. There it was in my lap. A Nikon. Not just any Nikon, my dad went to buy the Nikon D40 I wanted and came home with a Nikon D60. Beautiful and sleek and something that I'd given up on.

I looked up to see my siblings crying. Even the tough boys. It was wonder and disbelief, but not because of what it was, what it meant. I was overwhelmed that my mom and dad, in this desperately tight year of recession, would give me something that I've wanted for so long. I was so grateful yet felt so undeserving.

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Matthew 7:9-11

Below are some pictures that I took while taking JW (new name for the camera) out on the town for the first time. Keep in mind, I am no professional photographer. =)
(Click on images to enlarge.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Oh Baby!

Oh boy, oh boy! He's believed to be the biggest baby born in Orange County. The weight of a medium sized turkey. 14.2 pounds, 21" long.

Born by C-Section on December 23rd, two doctors had to pull him out.

How would you like to carry this big boy in your belly?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Greetings

I am stuffed with turkey and oh so content with life right now. God's given me another wonderful Christmas, what joy!

Merry Christmas to all my bloggy pals and those that sneak by... you know who you are! =)

I wish you many blessings on this day that we celebrate the most incredible birth of all.

JESUS - Who are we to deserve such love? I am so thankful!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Starbucks is the BOMB

There just something about a good, hot eggnog latte on a chilly morning.

My sweet sister surprised my SIL and I at work with Starbucks. Mm-Mm GOOOD.
It's about 55 degrees here and I am freezing. This girl is not cut out for cold weather!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Spirit of Christmas

Christmas. One of the most beautiful and stressful times of the year.

I used to favor Thanksgiving because, well, the food was good. Over the past few years the 4th of July has been near and dear to my heart. This year, I feel a closeness with the Christmas season this year. My eyes have seemed to open up past the merriment and stress. I look back at past Christmas' and feel so blessed. When I read about families that don't have anything-food, presents, warm homes, decorations, joy-I feel so blessed and a little guilty.

God's been good to me.

My parents taught us at a young age that it was always better to give than to receive. Give to the kingdom of God, give to those less fortunate, and give to each other. I cannot count how many times I've seen my mom and dad give to families in need; see the faces of children smile as we gave them Christmas presents that they wanted but didn't dare ask for. The times I've heard the story of my dad teaching the homeless man about Jesus as he bundled up in a cardboard box in our car port, or my parents helping a family with medical bills, or inviting families in our home to share our meal on Christmas Eve when they had no family in the area. This was and is the way of my life and I hope to carry that with me throughout the rest of my life. I want to give back because He's given me so much.

This is the spirit of the season.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Pictures - My Brothers and Sisters

My cousin took some group pictures of us to be blown up for the parents.

I took a few photos of my brother and sister in law... My brother Peter is a camera hog. He loves taking pictures, if he had his way I would be following him around with a camera.

We always take pictures with each other, each sister with a brother or sister and sister. I love this picture of Peter and Catherine.

That morning we weren't really looking forward to getting dressed and running around outside in the cold with mountain lions roaming the hills... okay the last one was an isolated fear of mine. What would you expect with big signs saying "At your own risk". We ended up having fun and enjoying the incredible location.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Pictures

I took some pictures of my cousin Eileen and her family this past weekend for Christmas. Cristian, her son, is the funniest kid to photograph. He has so much character and does exactly what you tell him. These were my favorite shots, I thought they came out pretty good...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Decorations - Part 1

I haven't blogged about much of anything in the past couple of weeks... so that explains the two post in one day!

We got our Christmas decorations up a couple of weeks back and I didn't have a chance to share. Since my family goes all out decorating our home for the season, this will Part 1 - The Family Room and Foyer.

Thomas Kinkade "Home for Christmas

Our stocking collection has grown over the past years, there used to be six. Six turned into seven when I was a little girl and we got our puppy Tiff. Seven turned into eight when my Sis n law came along and now eight is nine with my brother's girlfriend. We don't hang our stockings on the mantle but on the entry door... first thing you see when you walk in.

We've had this gingerbread family since I was very young. We were never allowed to play with them. They had to sit nicely in there spots, just to be looked at. Dad and Mom and four kids - that's us!

Family room tree that's done in rustic ornaments and all the ornaments that we've collected over the years.

I love the house when it's decorated for Christmas. This room is my favorite to sit in with the fire and lights glistening.

Santa's Fat Suit

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rainy Morning

I took some pictures on the way to work this rainy morning. Clouds are so fascinating to me. They change shape right before your eyes and are never the same, day to day. A rainy morning brought such incredible beauty...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas Shopping

I have been so behind in my shopping this year. As of today, I've purchased one gift... Uno.一個.один.một. ONE GIFT.

Things just aren't going as planned. I know what I want to buy, It's just a matter of how to do it! I was telling someone last night that I will be doing most of my shopping the week of Christmas. Talk about a mad dash to the finish.

I've had my fair share of rushing to the stores and checking out the good sales, crowds, messes... BUT I have refrained from buying one single thing.

I was shopping at a local store and came across this.

An aisle full of pillows. Kids paradise. There was a Mom and her little girl on the other side and the mom was telling her daughter, "Go ahead". Tempting... When the mad rush of shopping gets too crazy, look for an aisle like this and jump!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas Disco FEVER

Every Christmas I look forward to wasting time on Elf Yourself. I made one of my mom and her siblings, most of them, and now made one of me and my siblings! Check it out...
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Monday, December 01, 2008

A quick post

This is going to be a quick one, but I feel like I'm neglecting my blog! I had an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Good food, family time, and great church - Need I say more? It was wonderful. So unlike myself, I forgot my camera at my job! So no pictures from my end. I was so bummed and I didn't even think to use my phone. Oh well!

Now back to the normal things of life, work and obligations. I am getting into the Christmas spirit, we put up our family room tree on Friday night/Saturday morning. I'll post a picture here later on tonight or tomorrow.

We still have a ton of decorating to do in our home, but life is a little busy right now. We have bugs (sick bugs) going around our church and home. I am determined to stay as far away from all the sicky people and maybe, just maybe get by.

Hope you all ate tons of bird and had a great time with Family!