Friday, December 31, 2010

What Are You Doing New Years Eve

This New Years Eve, I took a ride on my bike through the neighborhood. The weather was perfect and I saw so many beautiful things that I love to look at. Had to take my camera along and shoot some pictures. Probably one of my most favorite things to do. I was thinking a lot, praying, reflecting on this past year and wondering about the new year to come. I thought I would share some thoughts with you. I even took a picture of my shadow. Which proved to be quite a challenge keeping the bike balanced and NOT DROPPING the camera and smiling all at the same time. In 2010, this is the age I became. Never thought I would live to be this old. Ha...I realize now that 4o is the new 13? *smile*

Even in the cold of winter, there are beautiful blooming flowers. All a gift for our eyes from up above. How many times do I pass them by and not give thanks for just the ability to look and enjoy and just take in? Reminds me of Corrie Ten Boom, who while she was locked in a concentration camp in a cold, dark cell. She once was walked to the wardens office and without someone seeing her, stopped and picked some little white flowers and kept them in her cell as God's gift of beauty to her. Everytime I see white flowers I am reminded to be thankful.
I liked the color of this fire hydrant and apparently the ants think it's good enough to build their little home beside.

These pecan trees have been around for years. For some reason, they are just beautiful to me in the winter, with the moss hanging like jeweled necklaces swaying in the breeze. I can just stand there for hours looking at them. You can see balls of mistletoe in the top. I thought about climbing up and getting some down. Thought about it. Didn't do it. Not such a climber these days.

Doesn't this just take you away somewhere? It does me.

I think about how many New Years these trees have seen. Were they here when horse and buggies were traveling by? Like Little House on the Prarie? Then did they see the First Model T Fords go by? Like on the Waltons? And now, the air conditioned cars with TV's inside? I just think about things like this.

And hands down, this is one of my most favorite places to go in the world. This is my solitude . You hear birds, wind, a duck or two, a hoot owl but, no traffic, no horns. This is a great place to talk to the Lord and listen. It's a great place for a picnic lunch. I hope to do more of that next year. It's a great place to catch bream. Another great place for pictures. I am more thankful than I have ever been for the opportunity to go here.

How about the cool colors of everyones boats? I am just learning to look at everything for what's beautiful and not what's wrong. I pray for eyes that see beauty in chaos.

A road covered in leaves like a blanket. Reminds me of the white paper they lay down the aisle for a bride to walk down.

A single red leaf. Just there for me to look at and admire. And then watch the wind fly it away somewhere and hoping someone else will appreciate it's color like I just did.

33. I always think of 33, the age Jesus was when He died on the cross for me. And He gave Himself willingly. They didn't take His life. He gave it. * sigh* He loved me before I even ever was. I can never comprehend that. I can never think about that without crying. And what does He want from me? Just a yielded life to Him. A relationship. Minute by minute communication. Total dependence on Him for everything.

I saw this Yield sign several times today while riding. I heard His gentle voice. His loving and caring voice.
"Jana, yield, give, hand over everything to me. Everything that concerns you, keeps you awake at night, that scares you, that brings you joy, hand it to Me and allow Me to take you into this next year."

And I say.....yes, I need you, Jesus, to be in control of every part of my life.

When I saw these bamboo plants I remember this verse.
And the truth is, this year has had so many things that have happened, that I feel like a bruised reed. Just discarded and laying there, can't get up on my own but, HE promised me. HE WILL NOT BREAK!!!! He's strengthening me daily and providing for me. HE will not let me fall. HE will be my strength. HE has been my help in time of need. HE is my fortress and refuge. I will praise Him in the good and in the bad.
And I will say for this past year and this coming year....My eyes are upon you.
And this is my motto. And my prayer. And my very breath. My eyes are upon my Saviour, the one who gave His very life to die for my sins. And no matter where this year takes me, I am safer in His loving arms in the storm than in smooth waters alone.
Look how tall the bamboo plants grow when they aren't bruised. I see this as a promise to me for the upcoming year. Thanks for reading the reflective side of me. I know it's a shock.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tea For Two

I have to tell you about our tea parties we have been having around here the whole month of December. We have one almost everyday and all the family members have been included. Years ago my Mom in law gave me this cute little teaset for Christmas because it matched my Christmas dishes. I thought, day if I have a Grandaughter, we will have tea parties with it. Well, last year I thought she was not quite old enough but, this, she's just the perfect age!
And todays tea party guest was Uncle U.Z. He's out of school and such a great Uncle to play with.

Most the time, we eat goldfish and marshmellows with our Chocolate Milk. But, the gold fish were M.I.A. for some reason. So, today some other Christmas treats. She sits so still and is so careful because it's "breakable" and we do talk a lot about how breakable it is. It just fascinates her.

She likes to pour a little "white" milk into the chocolate milk just so she can use the cute little spoon and stir.

Here she is drinking and as hard as she tries and talks about. Those pinky fingers will just not stick out. But, oh so cute to see her try and she was telling U.Z how to do it right this morning.

They were doing "cheers" with their little tea cups.

A mouthful of chocolate amd marshmellows!

Baby Jesus and the Angel get to particpate sometimes too.

And we wipe our mouths like little ladies when we are finished. I have been so blessed to be able to do this with her this Christmas Season. In just 3 more days, we will pack it away and get it out again next year.

And this year, she and I made a paper chain for the tree. I hope she'll remember the little traditions that I have started with her !
Merry Christmas to all and may God Bless you immensely!

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Downtown Tallahassee at Christmas time means one thing to me. Well, more than one thing but, the thing this post is about is that this is the last time in the year that I can buy and eat a funnel cake.
Look at all the happy opportunities to purchase and knosh a yummy delicious funnel cake.

Nothing says Merry Christmas quite like this sign. Wow! I am in funnel cake heaven.
And it keeps going. Who to buy from? This year we got one at every Downtown get down. But, one time there were no funnel cake booths and I was completely and utterly devastated. Okay, not completely but, it was a really sad Friday night.

Look at all that deliciousness on a plate. Yum. I can't explain my love for this food. The only thing better than this one funnel cake is......

Yes....two funnel cakes. But, don't think I am a pig. I was sharing with my family

It was my parents 51st Anniversary and we all were there together enjoying Tallahassee's lights and parade and Ray even ran in the Jingle Bell Run.

And to top off a wonderful night. Miss B got to meet Rudolph.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Written in the Stars

This is a book from Michael's childhood. Not just any book, his most read, most favorite book. Fireman Critter. If I only had a dollar for everytime we read it. It has been around for a long time. Rachel loved it and Zac too and even my nephew, Eli.
It was a Christmas gift when he was two years old. I have always written names and dates on everything for the kiddos.

Here is my Dad ( Poppa) reading it to the kids when they were four and two. We were on vacation in the mountains and I guess we even took that book with us on our trip.
Here is my Dad now reading the very same book to his great grandaughter. How fun is that? He should still have the book memorized, right? She loves this book and always says, "this was my Daddy's book when he was little."
This is a book that was mine back in the day and it is now, Kissy's very favorite story to read at naptime ( long with Fireman Critter).
So, inside I had written my ownership of this book and I was amazed at what I found. See how I spelled Jana? It makes perfect sense. My little grandprincess calls me "Nay" but, looks like I had already named myself that. See J "NAA". Oh my grandmother name was fortold way back in the 60's. I just love that.
See how worn it is. I am so glad my Mom had saved it.

Look at the publishing date. 1967. And it's still being read daily. How special to me to have things like this to pass down to the next generation. I love books!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thank God I'm A Country Boy

I thought I would share what our Thanksgiving was like this
year. We had a wonderful time with family and friends and even
made new friends that celebrated with us.

Decorating for Thanksgiving is fun and easy. Pinecones are
free and in abundance. We glued these to syrofoam cones for
centerpieces and used bigger pine cones on the tables with
candles and everything was looking good.

I bought 30 of these glass plates way back in the last century.
They were one dollar each and everytime we have a big crowd,
out they come. So versatile and popular! I put a leaf under
every plate. For the first time in years and I mean years.....
We used my Great Aunt Hoties silverware. It looked very shiny
and seems like it got the job done in feeding everyone.

My Mom's Annlee dolls that were pilgrims were on a table
and they were grinning at everyone the whole time.

Another Annalee pilgrim bearing a pumpkin.

For the first time this year, I made a Book of Thanks.
Everyone signed their name and what they were
thankful for this year and we will get it out every year
and add to it. It will be fun to look back on it after we
have done it for a while.
My most sweetest Grandaughter helped with the decorations
a lot this year and she put these pinecones here on the lanterns.
( I totally forgot to light the candles...oops)
And every pinecone hanging here was picked up in the yard
by her.
And.....she helped me tape all the leaves to the windows.
So the feasting began at 6 because we were so
blessed to feed some of the FSU football players
and they had practice that day. They were preparing
for the FSU/UF game. It's kind of a big deal and we
were so excited they could come eat with us.
( This picture was soooo staged.....sorry Zac-o)
Some of the players enjoying their meal. By the way, we had 3
turkeys and 2 hams. Yep...that's a lot. There were 8 of them.
2 Creels. 3 Flemings. 7 Ganguzzas. 8 Hanselmans and 1 Roshad!
The guys enjoy talking smack and playing pool. Alot!
Some of the feast. Yum. More yum.
The desserts. Red velvet cake. Chocolate layer cake.
Sweet potato pie. Pumpkin crisp. Fudge and cookies.
Mother made matching FSU aprons for the cousins!
E J Manuel and Michael. Yep.
He'll be the starting quarterback next year
for the Noles.
Rodney Hudson and Rachel. Yep.
He'll be playing in the NFL next year.
The whole gang. What a blessing to share
this day with everyone!
Praise the Lord! Great things He has done!
Here goes....left to right. Zac, Debbie,Jason, Angelo, Terri, Stewart
Michael,Isabella, Kiera, Ashleigh, Justin, Juliette, Rachel, Ray,
Jana, Antwon Greenlee, AJ Ganguzza, David Spurlock, Alexa,
Joel, Dan Fuse, Rodney Hudson, EJ Manuel, Mister Alexander,
Roshad, Mother ( Catty), Daddy ( Lamar) and Buddy