Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas. We've had a great time here playing with the O'Bear, putting a puzzle together, hanging out, reading and napping! It's awesome!

And here's to the Reason for the Season!

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'" Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."

So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."

--Matthew 1:18 - 2:23 New International Version

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Adventures of No, No, Bad Dog: The Cubic Conundrum

Hello again, dear fans. It's been a while.

I was deep under cover...oh, who am I kidding. I was just messing around barking at neighborhood children coming home from school. LOOOOVVVEE IIITTT!!! =P

Anywho, as I was saying, it's been a while since my last mission, and as it's nearing Christmas and the Naughty/Nice list is getting checked, I felt I needed to spring into action.

As some of you might know, my fortress has been penetrated by the evil Cute Baby! The folks think I am such a good sport. Ha! So, what was I to do, but give them a little demonstration of my power and position in this household. Enter the "X" block.

Why X? Well, X marks the spot. X-cellent. X-citing. You get it!

Evil Cute Baby had once again sucked Leanna into his vortex of cuteness and they were playing on the floor with his wooden blocks when I started forming my plan. I like wood. I eat wood. This is what I shall do! So, when they weren't looking I swiped the X block! All I left behind was a little sliver, as a calling card you might say.

Leanna, of course, caught onto my plan, but didn't go in search of the X. So, when she was AGAIN busy with Cute Baby, I mysteriously manifested the missing block and began chomping. What happened, you ask!? She took it away and told me "No, No! Bad Dog!" Yes! I had succeeded! She remembered my name! She remembered my purpose.

Throughout the day, I repeatedly snuck the block back from wherever she had placed/hidden it. My mission was not complete.

Finally, after Joe came home, saw what I had done, he and Leanna decided the block was toast.


Cute Baby -- you are a mighty foe! I have won this round, but I will not let down my guard. (note from the ghost writer -- No, No, Bad Dog is sleeping while I recount his tale.)

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Few Ways to Make a Difference

I love Christmas time. I don't always love the craziness that comes with it. But, I love the kindness, the giving and the cheer that usually surfaces this time of year. (I also LOVE Caramel Brulee drinks from Starbucks, but that's another story!)

This season though, I've come across two causes that have really struck a chord with me and wanted to pass along to you all, if you're looking for some place to give this Christmas. And trust, me, these will be great places to give!

1. Shiloh Restored -- Our friends Lali and Niji have started a new mission, along with everything else in their crazy-busy lives, to save baby girls in India from infanticide. They are raising money through their mission to rescue, house, educate and love on these unwanted girls. Lali and Niji also plan to move to India in the next few years to run this mission first-hand.

Lali and Niji's core belief is that each human life is of great value and all are created equal in the sight of God. The name of the rescue mission is Shiloh Restored - this name seemed fitting because the word Shiloh has its origin in Hebrew and means “God’s gift” - Join them in working to see God's Gift Restored!

2. Reece's Rainbow - Make Christmas Count for Cliff
My sweet sweet friend Lydia welcomed her second son into the world this August. Little James was born with Down Syndrome. This was a surprise to all of us. Little James is perfect in his different-ness. But what was really different, is how this opened my eyes to these special kiddos like James who need loving just like our 'perfectly normal' kiddos (whatever that means,right!)

While reading a few blogs I frequent, I came across Cliff's story and the Reece's Rainbow organization. This group helps facilitate the international adoption of children with DS or other special needs. HOW AWESOME! The blogs I was reading are teaming up to make this Christmas count for Cliff, a special little boy looking for a home. If you can, donate big or small and help this little cutie find his forever home.

May God truly bless you and your family this year. And let's help to bless so many of those out there that need a little love too!

Merry Christmas!