To Read on the Journey

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Merry Joy

Counting my 100 joys this Christmas Season.
Our Christmas eve and day (celebrated on Dec 22 & 23)
#69. Reading the word together, the kids delighting in their gifts,  Jesus' birthday breakfast sharing the ways He has been evident to us this year, followed by a relaxing day at home together, sharing a yummy Christmas dinner, and topping off the evening with Speed Christmas Scrabble (double points for Christmas words, and 50 points for the word "Christmas") 
(thanks Nana & Gramps for the Disneyland tickets. We're just a little A LOT excited)

#70. How the kids delighted in their simple gifts from each other.

#71. Watching the girls Just Dance 4. They crack me up!

#72. Noah said one of the ways he has seen Jesus this year has been through our conversations with each other. *love*

#73. Affection from Noah.
(the kids gift to us. YUM!)

#74.  Sweet words to me from my first pastor, Phil Rohrer.

(Christmas Eve)
#75. Michael who cares for me and generously gives himself up for me (left Christmas eve service to find a pharmacy to get me much needed meds).

#76.  The surprise of Christmas carolers at 9:15 on Christmas eve (my sister's house)!  A talented group of carolers sang and danced and blessed us good!

#77. Christmas morning, and being taken by the hand by my excited nephew Kole to see the full stockings (little hand tucked into mine is the best).

#78. Watching " Michael Michael" (uncle Michael) and Noah be playful and affectionate with Kodie and Kole.

#79. Christmas with 37 of the Teodosio family members (quiet a few were missed)! My family is the best (Thank you "Joseph & Mary!")
 #80. Seeing the newest member of the Teodosio family, Daniel (7 months), and getting darling smiles from him.

#81. "Favorite Aunt Violet's chocolate covered peanut butter balls- which every year she says, " I didn't make them," but always does especially for me. Then seeing her bless each of the kids with thoughtful gifts (reminded me of Christmas 1980 when she got me my first Barbie- Kissing Barbie. I still have her Favorite Aunt Violet).

(Day after Christmas)
#82. Surprising the kids with a donut breakfast (snowmen donuts made by me, and delicious not pictured homemade donuts made by my b.i.l., steve). 
 #83. Cuddling with my nephews and getting LOTS of kisses.  

#84. Seeing Les Miserable with my sister, aunts Vera and Hilda, and cousin Michelle.

#85. My grandmother. I love her, and how she cares for me.

#86. Brilliant clouds and a vivid rainbow on our drive home, and a family who indulges me and pulled over to take photos. 


Friday, December 28, 2012


Counting my 100 joys this Christmas Season.
#44. Playing a new card game together.  We have all missed "together."

#45. Christmas party with our life group, followed by church together, and walking Candy Cane Lane.

#46. Driving the Jr. Highers to and from youth group.  Having silly, contemplative, funny, thoughtful discussions.  I love these kids!

#47. Taking my three Christmas shopping for each other, and watching how they are intentional and how each one delights in spending their own $ to treat their siblings. I am blessed.

#48. A fun Christmas party at new friends, the Lodges.

#49.  How sweetly my girls play together- a gift!

#50. That though there is tragedy, there is Hope for our world.
"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the people, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you." Isaiah 60:1-2

#51. Listening to the girls practice Christmas music on the piano.

#52. Mama Holly's cheery words of encouragement to Emilie during her piano recital, and how Emilie forgot her mistake and focused on the words of delight spoken over her.   

#53.  Noah and Josie creating a Lego board game together.

#54. "He Met Me Here" service at The Well-  moving worship and testimonies at Christmas time.

#55. Geoff Black's sweet words.

#56. For a generous gift.
#57. As I began to share my "He Met Me Here' story at life group, Tristan (Jr. Higher from #46)  declared with delight, "I've heard this!"  

#58. That Michael is so intentional with each of us- praying with me in the mornings, taking the kids on a hike- giving us himself though he is so busy.

#59. The arrival of darling Christmas cards, and seeing the faces of the people we LOVE who sent them (keep an eye out for our card arriving Ground Hog's Day!)

#60.  For big kids who still like to slumber party by the Christmas tree.
 #61. These words- "She is clothed with strength and dignity" and "God crowned them with glory and splendor" (which means dignity) - "Notice that God did not put dignity in our hands... He wrapped it as a crown around our minds, just where we need it most." Amen! (from "So Long Insecurity")

#62. After spending the afternoon with Emilie running errands, on the way home she thoughtfully said, "I like you." *love*

#63. Listening to Noah play "God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Blind Man" on his electric guitar.

#64. For Josie, who generously made waffles (from scratch) for Noah and his friend.

#65. Texts with Hannah- so good to be loved.

#66. For darling  made-with-love Christmas dishtowels from Cindy.    

#67. For reconciliation.

#68. For the kids painting ornaments together.  I love that they still enjoy "together."

Friday, December 21, 2012

Transforming Joy

Counting my 100 joys this Christmas Season. 

#38. Feeling hopeful while reading "So Long Insecurity," by Beth Moore.  "I've had the exhilarating joy of winning many battles...but I have not won this particular battle against the stronghold of insecurity. YET. God help me I'm going to...thank God, a time comes in a willing life when you're ready to face a Goliath-sized foe (insecurity) all by itself and fight it to the stinking death."

#39. For much needed loving moments with my boy.

#40. In a conversation with Noah he said, "it took you to see me for me to see me."  I'm so grateful to the Spirit, who causes me to see Noah, reminds me of grace, and leads me to show respect and outward delight in my precious son.

 #41. Emilie sharing with me all she had read in our Christmas Memories book, which is filled with memories from our 16 yrs of married Christmases.

#42. Noah teaching Emilie to play guitar.  Listening to him be a kind, patient, encouraging instructor. 

#43. Not only have I been writing down my 100 joys this month, but so has my family.  Reading their joys has been my favorite joy of all. Seeing how joy transforms each of our souls and trickles into our attitudes makes me overjoyed!

Michael's joy #3. Denise! Denise! Denise! 

Noah's joy #19. Talking with Mommy. #20. Being loved.

Josie's joy #9. Making countdown to Christmas advents with my greatly "awsome" sister Emilie. 

Emilie's joy #50. For already being halfway through my 100 joys on Dec 17th, and realizing how many things I am thankful for everyday.  I have so many more joys than what I have written in this book!

(photo) Who needs an "Elf on a shelf" when you have a Josie made Daddy elf! 

Live in Peace!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Joyride (Adventure to the Holiday Stitch Market in Slo)

Counting my 100 joys this Christmas season.
#28. That my back-from-10-loooonnng-years-in-Washington-friend-Diane announced, "I want to come with you to SLO," and the Holiday Stitch Market.  For God's provision which came relationally.  I am a wealthy woman to have her friendship (and many others). 

#29. For the Sloas' and Rogers, who lovingly cared for our children while I was away.

The Kiss the Sky booth (parked next to s.i.l. Lindsey, The Pleated Poppy)
#30. Watching Diane worship as we traveled; seeing her be enlivened by the music, then together  delighting and marinading in the lyrics (this c.d., #5., yum).

#32. Seeing Linda at the Holiday Stitch Market.  I ♥ Linda. 
#33. Sweet hugs from my nieces and nephew, Gracie, Lily, and Silas, and a thoughtful made- especially-for-me Christmas cookie from my Gracie. 

#34. Laughter and fun memories made with Diane: passing out Stitch Market fliers at the SLO Farmer's Market, happy run-ins with 3 of her people, couple making out at the table behind us, working shifts at the boutique together, clam chowder for breakfast at the Splash Cafe.
#35. Coming home, and listening to my girls tell me ALL about their adventures with Mama Holly (Rogers): 5 mile science hike, and seeing "owl barf," making ornaments and Mexican wedding cakes, playing a new card game (which Josie gladly whipped everyone at), staying up late to watch movies, and more. Mama Holly saying to the girls, "your mom needs to do more boutiques so you can stay over more often."  I love her!  

#36. Home with Michael- "I'd rather do nothing with you, than anything with anybody else."

#37. Josie and Noah both culred up with me on the couch during Sat. a.m. cartoons.

 Live in Peace!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Prepare Him Room

Counting my joys has been transforming my yucky heart.  Uh huh, my heart has been filled with yuck- with comparison, pride, greed, and contempt (mostly toward myself).

It's hard to see straight when your heart is filled with yuck.

But this counting (which I know I should do, but when things are good I vainly conclude I'm fine without) enables me to see... SEE TRUTH.

Truth is a breath of fresh Air which washes away yuck.  And yuck had been strangling me.

All this fresh Air prepares room in my heart for Advent- for "coming, expecting;"  room for "Immanuel, God with us."

And the LORD is ALL I want and all I need my heart to be FILLED with.  Period.

 How is your heart this advent season? 
How can I pray for you?

#22. For a tender conversation with Emilie. For her sensitive and thoughtful heart.

#23. Driving the clan of jr. highers to youth group. They crack me up and bless me! Love these kids.
#24. Michael praying with me at early-thirty; that we are "together" though being pulled in different directions.

#25. Wisdom and encouragement from a fellow mom. 

#26.   Singing Christmas music loudly with the girls in the car- "Children, Go Where I Send Thee" (you should listen to the Darrell Hall & John Oats version. The best!) 
#27. Sharing sweet potato fries with Noah.

#28. Mama Holly & Papa Dan, who are generous with their lives and love to me and my family.

 Live in Peace!

Joy to the World canvas available in the Kiss the Sky shop. 
Thank you to my s.i.l., Lindsey, from "The Pleated Poppy" 
for allowing me use her darling home to photograph. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In Joy.

Counting my 100 joys this Christmas~ 

#8. During church I watched a father pick up his little girl during worship. He held her close. As I watched I silently prayed that the girl would listen as her daddy worshiped- rest in the comfort of his voice and praise. Then I heard the Spirit speak tenderly to me, "I want the same for you." *love*
 #9. Emilie and Noah on each side of me holding my hand.

#10. Emilie's declaration, "I'm so glad we all woke up on the right side of the bed this morning!."
  #11. A Panda Express take out "linner" treat, and for kids who express they are grateful.

#12. Decking the tree and halls, together.  Reminiscing over ornaments.
#13. Dancing with Michael in the kitchen. Noah telling us to "get a room" as we smooched.

#14. While reading "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" with the kids- discovering Lucy's vanity, and seeing imperfection in this character who has shown such integrity, bravery, and faith throughout the series.  Seeing Aslan, The Lion, tame Lucy's imperfection. Discussing together how the Lion tamed the child.  Considering that we think we can tame God, BUT it is He who tames us.

#15. That God is God of my boy, and that I'm not. 
(God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen print available in the Kiss the Sky shop)

 #16. Josie coming to my rescue as I baked gingerbread cookies.  My 10 yr old happily helped me remedy my baking error.  Grateful that she LOVES to bake!

#17. Sweet texts with Michael throughout the day (between his full time job and KTS he's been working 12-16hr days).
#18. Noah playing Christmas tunes on my guitar.

#19. 1 day argument free with my boy, and opportunities to thank and affirm him.

#20. A thoughtful and gracious email to me from Margie -how can she think of me, when she is transitioning in Africa- grateful for her prayers and encouragement.

#21. That Laura is back in blogville!

#22. These words from Psalm 145 (The Message)
"I lift you high in praise, my God, O my King! 
 and I'll bless your name into eternity.
I'll bless you everyday, 
and keep it up from now to eternity. 
God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough. 
There are no boundaries to his greatness. 
Generation after generation stands in awe of your works;
each one tells stories of your mighty acts. 
Your beauty and Splendor have everyone talking;  I compose songs on your wonders. 
your marvelous doings are headline news; 
I could write a book full of the details of your greatness.
 Live in Peace!



Monday, December 3, 2012

Count It All Joy.

A couple years ago I joined blog friend, Sarah Markley (who happens to be hosting a Lisa Leonard giveaway today), during Christmas and counted 100 Joys

That ended up being the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER (with exception of course to the very first OFF-THE-CHARTS Christmas)!

And I know why it was the BEST, because I was looking for the best.
While counting 100 Christmas joys:
My eyes were open in the mundane and as a result saw extraordinary. 
My desire became to be intentional and to create joy-filled memories.
I was more respective to the Spirit, and felt Him stirring the joy-pot inside me.

Yep, that was a great Christmas. 

That's why I'm giving it a go again this Advent season and counting 100 joys this Christmas.
I've got nothing to lose and every joy to gain.
#1. Day 1 of Advent= Coming, Expecting.  Chewing on these lyrics, "Rob our sin and make us holy, perfect son of God." 

#2. Kicking off the advent season with Gingerbread Rudolf pancakes served on Christmas plates, AND the first Christmas song we listen to every year, "Sleigh Ride," by Amy Grant. 

#3. During day 1 of operation "Deck the Halls,"  Josie collected 2 old nativities, a child's Christmas story book, and the mom from the dollhouse to play with on the dining room table.  For a short moment I thought a lot of myself because she had selected the mom to join this holy scene... until the mom began barking orders at the nativity "cast members" of a Christmas play. 
 (The before and after of Noah's Gingerbread Reindeer Pancakes- boys!)
#4. Making a yarn ball wreath with Emilie with recycled items. 
#5. 24 sales in the Kiss the Sky shop last week! Very thankful for God's provision, and that He teaches me that He is God whatever our circumstances. 
#6. Michael, who is hardworking and never complaining (between his full time job, KTS, and other odd jobs, he has been working loonnngg days). 

#7. For an invitation to a Christmas open house from new friends. 


Gingerbread pancake recipe here
For Rudolf: eyes-large marshmallow cut in half and chocolate chip for pupil, antlers- bacon, nose- strawberry. 

Wreath materials and brief how to: cardboard cut in desired wreath pattern. Cover with Strips of burlap- use glue gun. Cover old round ornaments with desired colors of yarn, and use glue-gun them to attach them to your burlap wreath.  I added colorful twigs with Christmas balls that I had on hand. 

Believe banner materials: Burlap, drop cloth (equals a lot of material in one $10 cloth), $1 ribbon, scanned letters from computer, and paint.   

 Live in Peace!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November Thankful Dump

*Reading the word cuddled up together in the mornings.
*For the challenge of my first Kiss the Sky boutique. It was hard and God taught me some unexpected necessary things.
*A walk with Mama Holly around our little lake.  I love her presence in our lives. 

*Cute little birdhouse painted by Josie for our yard, and that she still likes to make me things. 
*Michael speaking truth into me and praying over us. 
*A break from the mundane and a school day at the Cool Bean with Josie.  We were both energized by being around people (note to self: must do this more often!)
*The kids' giant fort which they slumber-partied in.  I'm grateful that my big kids aren't "too cool" to do silly together. 
*Josie's cinnamon bagels. Glad this girl loves to bake!
* a finished art project, and adding more color to the landscape of our home.
*Rainbow hot wheels- a Josie and Noah collaboration.   

*A delightful and encouraging dinner with Ron & Margie Grant, before their next adventure to Africa with MAF
*Sara's encouraging messages to me. Canada is too far away. 
*The girls as inventors: Marion Donovan- the inventor of the disposable diaper, and Herbert Johnson- the inventor of the Kitchen-Aid Mixer, for their home schools' wax museum.  My girls are the cutest!!
*My family.  I love that I get to be with them every day.
*Celebrated my 30-oldest birthday with a girls' night made complete with; appetizers n' margaritas, 4 on a Couch, Pictionary, "I Never,"  Sylvia's  chocolate chip cookie dough cake AND Michael's Heath toffee crunch cheesecake with homemade caramel sauce (spoiled much?), while being surrounded by laughter and love.
*Birthday celebration continued with a night out with "my Ethel," Diane- my dear friend who MOVED BACK TO CA. FROM WA. AFTER 10 LONG YEARS! And who also wears purple skinny pants, and who spoiled me with a pair of matching purple skinny pants!
*A conversation with my dad for his birthday.  He asked me how old I was When I responded "39," he tenderly said, "how can it be!?"  Sometimes I get moments of who he could be if he were healthy. Grateful.    

*The one year anniversary of living in our home, and that God got us through some tough months
*Thanksgiving in SLO and that the kids got to go to the beach (something they've been looking forward to). 
*The finale of icarly with the Sloas' & Meeks,' complete with Spaghetti Tacos, "Pepi-Cola," and Groovy Smoothies (there may have also been some tears during the icarly igoodbye episode)
*Delighting together when we'd spot brilliant red autumn trees.  
*That Emilie has a sweet group of girlfriends from school.  
*Skypeing with my God-sister,  Melanie and Imogen. Imogen showing me her stickers. 
*Matching cherry aprons with Sylvia at her daughter Maddie's M.E. birthday tea party.  
*Babysitting my second cousins, Ava and Ian.  Noah was a rockstar  helper with Ian.  While sitting beside Ava when she went to bed, she asked "Prima, why are you still here?"  Too cute. ("Prima" is cousin in Portuguese.  I love that she calls me Prima).  
* That eyebrows grow back, and that this is going to be a HILARIOUS story she will get to tell some day (I can't say which "she"... but I can tell you it wasn't Emilie).  
*A full day of errands and grocery shopping with Josie- her soft hand in mine, conversations, and silly with only her for an entire day. 
*My name on a frosting balloon at life group.  Thoughtful.  And this post by Sarah Markley, which described perfectly why I love being the church with our life group.  
*When my grandmother lovingly refers to me as, "Creda" (child in Portuguese).  
*A fresh batch of Kristen's cookies.  

*Cuddling with Michael at the end of the day... especially while watching Parenthood or Survivor
*That Deb is back in blogville.  I've missed her poetic, gracious voice.  Reading her description of herself at her new blog and that she is a "crafter of life with words."  Beautiful.   
*A darling video of our nephew, Jack, 1 1/2, who lives in Australia, doing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" along with my three kiddos to the video we made him last spring.  It makes my heart glad to see him "play" with his cousins even though we are a zillion miles apart. 
*My sister Toni's encouragement and nudging me to, "what is that you always say? 'give it grace.'"  I love her.
*And finally, that neediness isn't weakness, and that the LORD allows me to be needy because He wants me to be close to Him.  God. Wants. Me. Close. To. Him.  My neediness is part of His divine plan (breathing it in).  He sure must love me a lot. 

 Live in Peace!