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Showing posts from 2012

Katrina's Musings (Anniversary)

Today we celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. Greg planned an overnight trip to Door County, Wisconsin (6+ hours from our home). When asked if I would like to spend most of the time at our destination or most of our time on the road, I chose "on the road" because real life happens on the road trip. It was a lovely time. I'm very grateful to God for Greg and for our marriage and for sustaining us these 18 years. May He be glorified for it. 
(P.S. Many couples are dependent upon a stranger taking their picture on trips such as these, if they both want to appear in the picture that is, but not us, my husband always travels with a tripod and his camera. We had ourselves a regular ol' photo shoot next to this lovely downtown tree). 

Katrina's Musings (26 Acts of Kindness)

On December 14, I, like many people around the country started to hear the news reports of the tragic massacre of 20 children and 6 adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

A few days later, my brother-in-law e-mailed me an article written by Al Mohler Jr. that started with these words:

Thus says the LORD: “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.”[Jeremiah 31:15]

 It has happened again. This time tragedy came to Connecticut, where a lone gunman entered two classrooms at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and opened fire, killing at least twenty children and six adults, before turning his weapons of death upon himself. The young victims, ranged in age from five to ten years. The murderer was himself young, reported to be twenty years old. According to press reports, he murdered his mother in her home before the rampage at the school.

Just a few…

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:1-16 (NIV) from memory

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do…

Evangelism Musings (Christmas Packs Update)

Christmas pack season is coming to a close, and I'm going to miss it. As mentioned in a previous post (click here to read), I fill my purse with these Christmas packs from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas day and hand them out everywhere I go (gas station, grocery store, restaurant, coffee shop, drive-thru, bell ringers, etc.) Each pack contains a gospel tract, a message from me about the meaning of Christmas, and a few pieces of candy (and of course, I think it just makes good sense to make them look pretty with a ribbon and a cute sticker---if you're going to do this thing then let's do it well). I have found not an easier gospel-giving vehicle to exist during this time of year.

But, why do it? Answer: To share the gospel message (Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures...1 Corinthians 15:3-5). There are many ways to share the gospel. If you're doi…

Cookie Baking Night 12/17/12

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan and Carissa. We made frosted sugar cookies, read lesson 84 from Leading Little Ones to God by Marian Schoolland titled "What Will Happen When Jesus Comes" (just 2 lessons left, and we will have completed the book), and took a short trip around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. I also managed to catch a little bit of the live action for you tonight. See video below. 

Hmm. Does the color really matter when you plan to douse them in candy sprinkles anyway? I think not. 
As usual, a fun time was had by all.

Cookie Baking Musings

Tonight is an off night for Cookie Baking Night, but in Future Cookie Baking News, our nephew Rylar turned 1 year old last week. We celebrated with him and family on Sunday. In two more years, he will qualify to join us at Cookie Baking Nights. We look forward to his arrival.

(It's alright, you can say it, he's adorable)

Katrina's Musings (Niece & Nephew Christmas Party)

Today was our 9th annual Niece and Nephew Christmas Party. Once the children turn 3, this is our gift to them each year instead of traditional presents. In attendance this year: Kylie (13), Emily (12), Ethan (9), and Carissa (7).

This party has involved many different activities and many different themes. This year we decided to stay put in our home, and we went with the theme of "A Charlie Brown Christmas".

So, to do this theme right, we needed a "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree". We knew just the place for that. Greg's parents literally live in a pine tree forest. Because of that, they have many little trees growing up all the time. They graciously agreed to let us uproot one of these trees for our party.

Our 2-year-old niece, Allison, was at Grandma and Grandpa's house this morning, so she joined us in our tree hunting expedition (she also serves as a pretty good visual aid as to the size of the trees). 

 In this picture, Allison and I are next to the tree …

Katrina's Musings (The Hired Help)

If I don't keep careful watch over my activities during the Christmas season, I could spend most of my time baking cute things. I used to host cookie exchanges and make lots and lots of candies and cookies and sell them at Christmas time. After God regenerated my heart, He started to change my focus at Christmas as well. At first, the change came in that I would pick a Christian charity (like Voice of the Martyrs) and all the proceeds from my baking sales would go toward that charity (I raised quite a bit of money that way). Slowly, as God shows me that my activities at Christmas time and my focus (obsession really) on baking speaks what I care about to the world, my baking activities have taken a back seat. I still have one "order" that I fill at Christmas time for 10 boxes of chocolate mice. This year, I sublet the job. I told my niece Emily that if she wanted to make the mice I would give her the proceeds (minus a small supply fee) from the job. She eagerly agreed. 

Evangelism Musings (Christmas Packs)

Ahh, it's Christmas pack season again. (I love Christmas pack season). I make up several of these "Christmas packs" and hand them out starting the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas day. I keep my purse loaded with them at all times. I hand them out everywhere I go, every time I make a purchase somewhere (grocery store, gas station, etc.) or sometimes I just hand them to people as I'm walking into stores (I also give them to the bell ringers if I put money in one of their buckets). I simply hand them to a person and say "This is for you. Merry Christmas!"

Each pack contains a gospel tract, a couple pieces of candy, and a half sheet of paper with the following info:

"Peace on earth. Goodwill to men." That's a popular phrase this time of year. Do you know where it comes from? It comes from the Bible. Many people think of peace as the absence of conflict or the absence of fighting, but the peace spoken of int he Bible is much greater than …

Birthday Musings

Today, my niece Kylie turns 13 years old. Tomorrow Emily will be 12. A couple weekends ago I took the birthday cousins out for a birthday adventure. Often, I ask them what they want to do, but this year I went with the element of surprise. They knew we would be spending the day together, but that's all they knew. 
For their birthdays this year we went on a chocolate scavenger hunt. At the beginning of our trip, I gave them each a bag to collect items,$20.00, and a list of items they needed to obtain/complete by the end of the day. For a little healthy competition, they competed against me in this little game. 
Here's the list of items we had to obtain/complete: 
 • Chocolate in the shape of a flower
 • A picture of you giving a piece of chocolate to someone over 6 feet tall
 • Chocolate in a neon green wrapper
 • A picture of you eating a piece of chocolate next to a bear
 • A piece of fruit-flavored chocolate
 • A piece of chocolate with a weird ingredient in it
 • Something…

Cookie Baking Night 11/26/12

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan and Carissa. We made pumpkin bread using the pumpkin we cooked in the oven a few weeks ago (I had it in the freezer until tonight). Click here to read the pumpkin-baking post. The kids still had a hard time understanding that we were using the whole pumpkin, cooked, and not just the insides of it even though they saw the whole process with their own eyes. Ahh, the cooked pumpkin, a mysterious concept indeed.
This we could all agree on: It smelled delicious while it was baking, and it tasted yummy.

We also read lessons 82 and 83 from Leading Little Ones to God by Marian Schoolland. We have only 3 lessons left and we'll have completed the book. Ethan read Revelation 1:4-7 for us from the Bible.

As usual, a fun time was had by all.

Evangelism Musings (Black Friday FollowUp)

On Thanksgiving Day, I recruited a couple laborers at our Thanksgiving feast, and they helped me put together 120 packs to give out on Black Friday. Each pack contained a granola bar or equivalent thereof, a gospel tract, a personal message about the meaning of Christmas, and our church business card/gospel tract. Click here (or scroll down the page) to read the original post and the contents of the Christmas messages.

My friend put together 120 packs as well, and this morning (at the early hour of 4:00 am) we headed out to two local businesses and distributed them all in the matter of an hour (with about 15 minutes travel time between the two places). We found people to be very receptive. We usually approached them by saying "We wanted to be your first giveaway of the day. Merry Christmas!" Only a handful of people (less than 10) said "No. Thank you." And that's as "rude" as it got this morning. We praise God for His protection and for letting us pu…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Praise the LORD! Praise O servants of the LORD,  Praise the name of the LORD! Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its going down the LORD's name is to be praised.
Psalm 113: 1-3
May the Lord be thanked and praised today and everyday. Happy Thanksgiving!

Evangelism Musings (Upcoming Black Friday)

Black Friday is just around the corner--an evangelistic opportunity in our backyards. For a couple years now, a friend and I have put together some bags, arisen in the dark of the morning, and went to the masses standing in line to get into the stores. I'm posting this at the early part of the week because it's not too late to do something. Feel free to use this idea or come up with another one. Many, many gospel opportunities exist within that day.

Here's what we do:
We assemble small plastic baggies that contain:
a gospel tract (the good news of Jesus Christ)a treat (sustenance for the weary shopper)our church business card (should God call them unto Him and regeneration occur in their hearts, they'll need a good church to attend)a personal message I have two messages that I've written and use in my "Christmas packs" during this season. I'm posting them both here for your consideration. Use them, change them, ignore them as you wish. 
Message A


Cookie Baking Musings

Tonight is an off night for Cookie Baking, so I thought I would share a story from last time. As we were finishing up supper, we were talking about how Allison (our youngest niece) will be old enough to join us for Cookie Baking Nights in August (the official start age is 3).

I said, "We'll need to be patient with her and show her the rules."

Emily said, "Okay, but we don't really have many rules here at Cookie Baking Night. Well,  just the normal ones like the Ten Commandments and don't run with scissors."

Yep. That pretty much sums it up, I guess ... just the normal ones.

Cookie Baking Night 11/12/12

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Emily, Ethan, and Carissa. Tonight was Emily's birthday choice. The birthday honoree always chooses what we have for supper and the cookie we bake that night. For supper, Emily chose mashed potatoes, hamburger gravy, green bean casserole, and pineapple. For her cookie, she chose a cute little turkey cookie that we saw in one of those grocery aisle cookbooks. (Her birthday isn't until the end of the month, but we moved up her birthday choice night so she could have the cookies in time for Thanksgiving). 

This particular project took a little prep on my part. I cut out (with a flower-shaped cookie cutter) the cookies and baked them the day before. 
Another tip: Grocery stores with bakeries in them will often sell you colored frosting they use to decorate cakes. I purchased the colors we needed from the local bakery and filled the pastry bags the night before as well.

The children did a great job. It was their first t…