Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Isn’t this what Christmas is all about?

In the afternoon on Christmas Eve, we sent Dad off in an ambulance to the ER. He had a fever, had symptoms of a stroke (weak left side and drooping head) and wasn’t able to communicate or stand.

Christmas came alive.

As we sat in the ER and later in Dad’s room I found that my attitude had changed. When I heard of the crisis --- instantly all the “trappings” of Christmas became totally unimportant. I left behind all the wrapping, shopping, baking, and planning etc. I was suddenly thinking about more basic life issues. There is a lot of time to ponder things in the ER. As we waited for information, we tearfully sang our favorite Christmas carols.

Christmas came alive. Jesus - was – born - to - die.

He was born to take our punishment and blame and set us free. Yes I know that I already knew that, but this year it came ALIVE in a totally new way. These people, all the nurses and doctors interacting with us, our primary nurse who’s 2yr old still isn’t sleeping through the night; the admitting lady with stylishly fake blonde hair and beautiful jewels on her fingers ; my sweet Haley cleaning Dad’s face as he coughed up blood.
We were the people and we were rubbing shoulders with the people that Jesus was born for.

We were walking through this as a family with the Lord’s presence right beside us because Jesus had been a baby!
Dad will be in heaven whenever he does pass from this life because Jesus was born.

We have been given a gift.
Jesus is that gift. The Lord made me freshly aware of His gift again in that ER cubicle. Christmas came alive.

The results

They found pneumonia in both lungs! The CAT scan showed no evidence of a stroke. Dad is responding well to treatment for the pneumonia and almost back to normal. He’s joking around and giving everyone a hard time. “smile” That’s another gift the Lord gave us. Matthew said that it was the best part of our Christmas. Today, a week later, we are moving Dad to a rehab down the street for physical therapy before coming home. We are rejoicing.

I pray that your Christmas was alive with Jesus the living God!
A belated Merry Christmas to each of you!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thanksgiving was at our house this year!

When the kids were young we went from family to family each holiday. That was a tad bit wearing, so we decided to split the major holidays between the two sides of the family. That worked better and we have kept it that way. This year was the Sisson Thanksgiving and we were blessed to have everyone gather at our house.

All of the Sisson side were here and Kyle and Gretchen came up. We also had a few neighbors join us and of course Najah!

Our beloved Najah.

Since my brother didn't come into town, we invited G&G Lainio and made them temporary Sissons. It was the best Thanksgiving celebration that I can remember.

Little Miss had fun interacting with everyone.

Haley and Kelly

We started with appetizers. Yep appetizers. That was to stave off the "hungries" while we had a little program. =)

Our two favorite Grandpas. Grandpa Bud is the goofy one.

Some things never change . . . . . and I love it! "happy smile"

Our program consisted of readings from the writings of the pilgrims themselves, scripture and some thoughts from a book from Family Life. We also sang a few hymns. What a pleasure to hear the generations lifting praise to the Lord. Afterwards it was open so that we could each give our thanks to the Lord for something from this last year. Wonderful.

My Oh My the FOOD!

Kay's Sweet Potatoes

Kyle brought and prepared the best Venison! This was the first time some of us had eaten it.
(It was part of the first thanksgiving you know.)

(Sorry about all these food pictures. I like to look back and see what we served and how we presented it.)

Kay and our neighbor Jean.

I bet-ya she likes squash almost as much as I do. Butternut squash is my favorite. You should have seen her gobble it down.
Did you notice? Yep she's now drinking out of a sippy cup. Wow--- big girl!!

After dinner chatting.

A Little Project
My dear friend Colleen Moeller shared one of her family's traditions with me. So I was inspired to give it a try. Sure wish I could show it to her.

I got a big piece of 100% cotton fabric and some fabric markers. After dinner I spread it out on our kitchen table for any and everyone to decorate. I wasn't sure if it would be enjoyed or not.
Well it was a huge hit. I think everyone signed it and/or decorated it. Here are Gretchen and Jean doing their part.

(if you do this and care about your table, just put a cheapo plastic tablecloth underneath because the markers do bleed through)

Meanwhile in the basement:

Andrew shared his Wii with us. It was fun both to play and to watch.

Even though we all were stuffed, we got in a fair amount of friendly competition.

Ellie and Gretchen boxing!

Nate and Tim getting ready to box. These guys are serious. Here they are warming up.

Hear the bell ring??

Thank you Andrew!

After all that exercise we needed a bit of dessert.

The almost finished project!

Here's the results of all our doodling! (I still have to finish putting the borders on it.)

Our neighbor Mary Ellen put on the basic letters and then we "decorated" them. "smile"

Did you notice the Chinese and Arabic?

Tom and Elli told the story of the pilgrims all in the 2009 numbers!

Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.

1 Chronicles 16: 8-10