Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Some things never change....

The wind is howling outside and I am working on my annual March job.....TAXES!!! Today, I took Brittney to the doctor for an ear infection and as she lay on the bed I was taken back to 13 years ago when I use to dress her up in her little dress and tights. She would have some pretty shoes to match and a bow in her hair. I would carry her in the office in her
beautiful blue and white car seat carrier all bundled up.
Fast forward 13 years. We drove to the same office today, he long, thick, beautiful, brown hair was pinned up in some crazy ponytail. She had black yoga pants and a hot pink sweat shirt on. Those feet are no longer in cute patten leather shoes, they were in size 8 UGGs. No make-up on the beautiful girl today....She is now 5'5" and I cannot carry her.....she could carry me!!
As she was laying on the table, my heart skipped a beat just like it did when she got those dreaded "shots" when she was a baby........ it was still my crazy baby that was "my only sunshine" that God blessed me with all those years ago. She played with the paper on the table, told me how she hated doctors, she wanted to go was good to know that even though she was growing up that SOME THINGS ABOUT HER HAVE NOT CHANGED AT ALL!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Signs that summer is drawing to a close

It's 95 degrees today and we got up at 7am to head to football equipment pick-up. Last Sunday we got back from vacation and tomorrow we head to the year end baseball picnic. Signs that summer is coming to a close.
I actually like this time of year because it means that fall is coming and CHRISTMAS around the corner!!
Have you had a good summer? Have you taken the time to enjoy your family? Have you stopped to read a book, spend time with a friend, sit on the deck, enjoy the sun, go for a walk, smile at the kids as the play? I have.
Now, we still have a few more weeks to go before the kids head back to school. If you have not, stop and take a minute and enjoy........The word says: "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good...". You see the Lord is good to us in so many ways and He allows us so many blessings, don't forget to take the time to enjoy them!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring has Sprung

It's spring break here at the Wilson home and I love the sound of the kids being home. This morning everyone was in bed late and I listened to the quiet of the house as another spring break had come to our home. This one was important because my son realized that taking a bath and smelling good is important........why???? I want to know.......Is there a girl who has caught his eye? What a thought that my baby is getting older. AND some girl might be catching his attention. I know that he is cuter than pie but no girl is suppose to know that!!!! Where does the time go?

I guess it's not just spring for the birds and the bees but it's spring for my little birds and bees!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Part 4 -Why December 25th?

For the church's first three centuries, Christmas wasn't in December—or on the calendar at all.
Elesha Coffman
It's very tough for us North Americans to imagine Mary and Joseph trudging to Bethlehem in anything but, as Christina Rosetti memorably described it, "the bleak mid-winter," surrounded by "snow on snow on snow." To us, Christmas and December are inseparable. But for the first three centuries of Christianity, Christmas wasn't in December—or on the calendar anywhere.
If observed at all, the celebration of Christ's birth was usually lumped in with Epiphany (January 6), one of the church's earliest established feasts. Some church leaders even opposed the idea of a birth celebration. Origen (c.185-c.254) preached that it would be wrong to honor Christ in the same way Pharaoh and Herod were honored. Birthdays were for pagan gods.
Not all of Origen's contemporaries agreed that Christ's birthday shouldn't be celebrated, and some began to speculate on the date (actual records were apparently long lost). Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215) favored May 20 but noted that others had argued for April 18, April 19, and May 28. Hippolytus (c.170-c.236) championed January 2. November 17, November 20, and March 25 all had backers as well. A Latin treatise written around 243 pegged March 21, because that was believed to be the date on which God created the sun. Polycarp (c.69-c.155) had followed the same line of reasoning to conclude that Christ's birth and baptism most likely occurred on Wednesday, because the sun was created on the fourth day.
The eventual choice of December 25, made perhaps as early as 273, reflects a convergence of Origen's concern about pagan gods and the church's identification of God's son with the celestial sun. December 25 already hosted two other related festivals: natalis solis invicti (the Roman "birth of the unconquered sun"), and the birthday of Mithras, the Iranian "Sun of Righteousness" whose worship was popular with Roman soldiers. The winter solstice, another celebration of the sun, fell just a few days earlier. Seeing that pagans were already exalting deities with some parallels to the true deity, church leaders decided to commandeer the date and introduce a new festival.
Western Christians first celebrated Christmas on December 25 in 336, after Emperor Constantine had declared Christianity the empire's favored religion. Eastern churches, however, held on to January 6 as the date for Christ's birth and his baptism. Most easterners eventually adopted December 25, celebrating Christ's birth on the earlier date and his baptism on the latter, but the Armenian church celebrates his birth on January 6. Incidentally, the Western church does celebrate Epiphany on January 6, but as the arrival date of the Magi rather than as the date of Christ's baptism.
Another wrinkle was added in the sixteenth century when Pope Gregory devised a new calendar, which was unevenly adopted. The Eastern Orthodox and some Protestants retained the Julian calendar, which meant they celebrated Christmas 13 days later than their Gregorian counterparts. Most—but not all—of the Christian world now agrees on the Gregorian calendar and the December 25 date.
The pagan origins of the Christmas date, as well as pagan origins for many Christmas customs (gift-giving and merrymaking from Roman Saturnalia; greenery, lights, and charity from the Roman New Year; Yule logs and various foods from Teutonic feasts), have always fueled arguments against the holiday. "It's just paganism wrapped with a Christian bow," naysayers argue. But while kowtowing to worldliness must always be a concern for Christians, the church has generally viewed efforts to reshape culture—including holidays—positively. As a theologian asserted in 320, "We hold this day holy, not like the pagans because of the birth of the sun, but because of him who made it."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Part 3- Gift Giving

There is no disputing that Christmas giving has become a very big business: a strong holiday selling season often means the difference between a good and a bad year for a retailer. In the shopping frenzy that lasts from the opening of the Christmas buying season to the closing hours of Christmas Eve, it’s easy to forget what all the fuss is for.
It was not always like that. There was, not so long ago, a time when Christmas involved no gift giving at all, and in some countries that is still the standard. The union of Christmas and gift giving was a gradual one; actually, the full story of the bright packages beneath the tree begins in the days before the birth of Christ.
In ancient Rome, gifts were exchanged during the New Year’s celebrations. At first these gifts were simple, such as a few twigs from a sacred grove and food. Many gifts were in the form of vegetables in honor of the fertility goddess Strenia. During the Northern European Yule, fertility was celebrated with gifts made of wheat products, such as bread and alcohol.
While most of this giving was done on a voluntary basis, history has had its share of leaders who did their best to ensure they would have plenty of gifts to open. One year Emperor Caligula of Rome declared to all that he would be receiving presents on New Year’s Day; gifts he deemed inadequate of his stature were ridiculed. Then there was Henry III, who closed down the merchants of England one December because he was not impressed with the amount of their monetary gifts.
Like many old customs, gift exchange was difficult to get rid of even as Christianity spread and gained official status. Early church leaders tried to outlaw the custom, but the people cherished it too much to let it go. So the church leaders sought a Christian justification for the practice. The justification was found in the Magi’s act of bearing gifts to the infant Jesus, and in the concept that Christ was a gift from God to the world, bringing in turn the gift of redemption and everlasting life.
Even though the roots of the Christmas present extend to ancient times, the gift giving tradition we are familiar with today owes perhaps the most to Victorian England. The Victorians, who brought a renewed warmth and spirit to Christmas after it had experienced a long period of decline, made the idea of family part of the celebration. Friendliness and charity filled many hearts during their Christmas season, so giving gifts was natural. The ultimate reason for giving a gift was as an expression of kindness, a sentiment that went nicely with the historical tradition of the holiday.
The Victorians surrounded the act of gift giving with a great deal of ingenuity and merriment: simply tearing into a cache of wrapped boxes would have been to miss the point. Far more thought and preparation than that were in order during the holiday season. They had cobweb parties, which was a lot of messy fun. Each family member was assigned a color, then shown to a room crisscrossed with yarn of various colors. Each person was to follow an assigned color through the web of yarn until he or she reached the present tied to the end.
The Christmas pie was another favorite diversion, although it was not exactly edible. Small gifts were hidden in a large bowl of grain. After everyone had eaten Christmas dinner, they would gather around the pie and they took turns taking a spoonful. Whatever treat was in their spoonful was theirs to keep.
The American Christmas was greatly influenced by the Victorians, gift giving, tradition and all. America expanded on the concept with the addition of Santa Claus: the association with gifts was a natural one. Soon Santa or one of his earlier models became responsible for the presents left in an ever-increasing number of stockings.
By the late nineteenth century the simple and non-materialistic gift giving tradition had began to wither away. Christmas had come face to face with commercialism, and the new message was to buy. It was not long before shopping and the idea of gifts had made its way into the meaning of Christmas. This transition was highly encouraged by merchants who stood to benefit from a year-end buying binge. It was and still is a question of whether or not this development did more harm than good to the holiday. Some people wonder whether the emphasis on buying, shopping and getting brings more happiness or disappointment, especially to those who can afford very little. But, many others argue that Christmas, through its many culture changes, would greatly be affected by the modern consumer culture in which we live. In the end, it is likely that the best way to approach Christmas gift giving is with both viewpoints in mind. Most parents of young children are unwilling to do away entirely with what might be called the gimme Christmas, but that is no reason some of the spirit of past holiday can not be incorporated in the modern Christmas as well.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Part 2 - Poinsettia

A charming story is told of Pepita, a poor Mexican girl who had no gift to present the Christ Child at Christmas Eve Services. As Pepita walked slowly to the chapel with her cousin Pedro, her heart was filled with sadness rather than joy.
"I am sure, Pepita, that even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes," said Pedro consolingly.
Not knowing what else to do, Pepita knelt by the roadside and gathered a handful of common weeds, fashioning them into a small bouquet. Looking at the scraggly bunch of weeds, she felt more saddened and embarrassed than ever by the humbleness of her offering. She fought back a tear as she entered the small village chapel.
As she approached the alter, she remembered Pedro's kind words: "Even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes." She felt her spirit lift as she knelt to lay the bouquet at the foot of the nativity scene.
Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into blooms of brilliant red, and all who saw them were certain that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle right before their eyes.
From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night, for they bloomed each year during the Christmas season.
Today, the common name for this plant is the poinsettia!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Traditions - Part 1 The Christmas Tree

Ever wonder where certain Christmas traditions come from? For the next few weeks, I will try and answer some of those questions. Hope you enjoy!


The Christmas tree is a mandala, a bundle of symbols showing what creation has to offer: light and the movement of angels, the gifts of orchard and field, forest and sea, all topped off by the star that pointed to the end of the journey, the place of peace. During Advent in the XIth century, scenes called mysteries, including one about Paradise, were very popular. A tree decorated with red apples symbolized the tree of Paradise. During the XVth century, the faithful began to put up trees in their own houses on December 24, the feast day of Adam and Eve.
However, the first Christmas tree as we know it, but without lights still, appeared in Alsace in 1521. It was introduced in France by the Princess Hélène de Mecklembourg who brought one to Paris after her marriage to the Duke of Orleans. In the XVIIIth century, the custom of decorating a Christmas tree was well established in Germany, France and Austria.

In 1841, Prince Albert (originally from Germany), husband of Queen Victoria, set up a Christmas tree at Windsor Castle in England. From the royal court, the custom of Christmas trees spread quickly to the middle class and then to working people. For Victorians, a good Christmas tree had to be six branches tall and be placed on a table covered with a white damask tablecloth. It was decorated with garlands, candies and paper flowers.
The Christmas tree was introduced to Canada around the end of the XVIIIth century even before it became a common practice in England. The various ornaments with which it was decorated were first made at home before being commercially produced. In the middle of the XVIIth century, Christmas trees were illuminated with little candles. These were replaced at the beginning of the XXth century by electric bulbs. Other variations like outdoor and artificial Christmas trees as appeared around the beginning of the XXth century.