The greatest gift

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Here is a gift that lasts all year:

tumblr_mybmqybR0U1ron0poo1_500May your 2014 be filled with safety, prosperity and the peace of knowing that God is in control!


My favorite Christmas pageant

When I was in my early twenties, my church asked me to sing “O Holy Night” while the children dressed as shepherds, kings, Mary and Joseph, took their places on the stage for the live nativity scene.

The live nativity scene included a little lamb.

lamb by karnaphuli via flickr

A very vocal little lamb.

That loved to sing.

(Turn the video above way up and you might get an idea of what a singing lamb sounds like.)

In those days, I was a very serious music student at Wichita State University. Music for me at that time was no laughing matter. I took every note to heart.


Apparently, so did the little lamb. Because every time I hit a high note–so did she.


We sang a duet while the congregation did their very best not to laugh. But you know how it goes with laughing. The harder you try not to, the more you bust a gut.


Because I was, you know, a very serious singer, I was at first annoyed with the lamb’s audacity. But then, I thought, how appropriate, really. I mean, when the angels announced the birth of Christ to the shepherds, I imagine the singing was loud enough to wake every little lamb from their slumber.


So, if God’s angels could be accompanied by a precious little lamb, I was honored that God would see fit to give the congregation a taste of that first proclamation even if I was the butt, er, lamb chop of the joke.

We often have idyllic notions of how things went that night. But the fact is, it probably was just as messy and imperfect as any church Christmas pageant.

At least I like to think it might have been.

Lamb Raspberry

Luke 2:8-14:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


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Happy vintage Christmas!

Vintage-Christmas-Label-GraphicsFairy-1024x593I love all things vintage. I can’t help it. I was raised around my grandmother’s antiques and to this day I love looking at pictures of them and seeing them when I manage to make it to my parents’ house ever few years.

So I’ve included some of my favorite vintage free use images I’ve found around the web. You can make great gifts with these! Gift tags, cards, decoupage — the ideas are endless!

Which ones are your favorite?

I’m partial to the green Santas, the bunnies and the pugs ringing the bells. Birds, too. Anything with birds I’m all in it. Oh, and the foxes sledding. What a hoot.

But I have to be honest. I think the snowmen are a little creepy. What say you? (Tweet this.)

(Sorry for having to scroll so far down but I don’t yet know how to insert pics side by side into WordPress. Tom Threadgill hasn’t tutored me in that yet.)









































BLOGslsSanta 012


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Christmas widgets!

I love widgets. Yes, I know, they are kind of tacky sometimes. But isn’t it fun to be a little tacky and little lampoon-Christmas-lights-crazy at this time of year?

Here are some fun Christmas goodies for your online celebrations. The hard part is picking only one!


Christmas countdown widget (if someone knows how to help me make this smaller, please let us know in the comments below. I did put smaller dimensions in the code but it’s not transferring, thanks!):

How about your blog’s own Christmas tree?

Another countdown theme:

Here, have a yule log:ku-xlarge

Or another Christmas widget:

If you love pets and especially cats, you will want to check out this adorable site where a kitty teaches you how to set up and maintain your Christmas tree (Lilybits will love this one!):


Another adorable countdown:

Days until Christmas:

Bronner’s part 2: The Joy of Christmas Decorations


Last week I posted about my trip to Frankenmuth, Michigan to Bronner’s. I promised to share what we bought there back in 2007 to commemorate our 25th wedding anniversary. (We were married Dec. 3, 1982.)

We had such fun shopping for our silver anniversary. I wish my pictures were better. My camera wasn’t working and I took these with my phone. Phone cameras have come a long way in the past seven years! (Click pics to enlarge.)


Naturally the first thing we looked for was an ornament that said “25” somewhere on it. So we bought the above one and had it personalized (below).



We bought a few bells (pictured above) but also some much bigger silver bells to put on our wedding canopy. You can sort of see the bells below in the background on the canopy arch. They were so pretty.  (This is my daughter and her husband walking down the aisle when we renewed our vows.)



I also bought a few sets of silver pine cones (pictured above). And a set of doves (bel0w).


I couldn’t resist the baby penguins sitting side by side.


They all came together to create a very special Christmas tree that year.


Do you have any favorite Christmas tree ornaments? I’d love to read about them! Leave me a comment below!

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Bronner’s: Christmas fantasy land!

It’s a Holly Jolly Blog Hop

One of my favorite motorcycle trip memories is when my husband and I rode our motorcycles from Northeast Indiana to the charming town of Frankenmuth, Michigan (“Michigan’s Little Bavaria”) in order to pick out a Christmas ornament for our 25th Anniversary. (Click on images to make them bigger if you like.)

Downtown Frankenmuth

Downtown Frankenmuth

Why travel 250 miles (one way) just to pick out a Christmas ornament? (Tweet this!)

Because, for one thing, it’s fun to ride motorcycles together. And for another thing, there’s a HUGE Christmas ornament store there!

Bronner’s was founded in 1945 by Wally Bronner. It’s opened 361 days a year and features over 50,000 trims and gifts. If you are a Christmas decorations fanatic, this is the store for you.

Bronner’s Entrance

I tend to get overwhelmed easily in stores like this, but Bronner’s isn’t as chaotic as it may seem. The store is beautifully organized by color or theme.

Inside Bronner’s
More ornaments than you ever imagined!
More ornaments than you ever imagined!
So much to choose from!
So much to choose from!
The Christmas trees are stunning. Photos don’t do them justice. 

 The outside of the store is just as fascinating as the inside!

Check out those herald angels on each side!
The wise guy and his camel were my favorite.

Bronner’s Silent Night Memorial Chapel sits on the grounds and is open daily for viewing and meditation. Every evening there’s a ½-mile long Christmas Lane that glistens with thousands of twinkling lights. Over two million people, including 2,000 group tours, visit Bronner’s attraction annually! Wow!

Silent Night Chapel

Silent Night Chapel

There is one ornament I’ve been yearning to get. (If you read my book, The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots, you’ll know why!)



Stop by next Thursday when I share what we bought to take home with us to celebrate our 25th Anniversary (way back in 2007)!

Do you like decorating for Christmas? Why or why not?

It’s a Holly Jolly Blog Hop!

I love Christmas!

And to honor the holiday, I’m inviting all bloggers to join our Christmas meme!

To quote Patty Wysong (the queen of all things meme):
“What’s a meme? A meme is when a group of people get together and post on a similar topic or theme. It’s the blogger’s version of a progressive dinner…or a potluck dinner. Full of variety and fun.”

Don’t know what to post for a Christmas blog hop? Here are some ideas:

  • Post anything at all to do with Christmas! ANYTHING!
  • This is a great way to post easy-to-think-of topics during the very busy holiday. You can plan weeks ahead!
  • Include pictures of Christmases past, or present. What are you doing to decorate? Where are you going? What festivities are you planning? Church activities?

The meme starts THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21 and ends WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 25.

You can post anytime Thursday to Thursday. We will keep the linky code open for six days. You don’t have to make a month-long commitment and you don’t have to post every week. Just jump in and join us as you are able!

What’s a linky code? It’s an html code you’ll place at the end of your post so you can link up to others in the blog hop!

I do ask that you comment on at least two of the blogs that link up to yours. It’s better to give than to receive, right?

Want to know more about memes and why you’d want to participate? Check out Making the Most of Memes for more information.

If you’re joining the hop, you may add the button to your sidebar or inside your post, or both. You can grab the code below:
It’s a Holly Jolly Blog Hop

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Hoppy Christmas!