Friday, December 22, 2006
Click here for a special Christmas message from
Greg and Deeanne.
posted by Deeanne at 11:56 AM
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Every other year or so, the girls and I do our favorite puzzle. It is a 2000 piece Coca-Cola Christmas puzzle that takes us from Thanksgiving to Christmas to finish. I'm very particular about what kind of puzzle I'm willing to do. I don't much care for puzzles that are mostly one color (like a snow scene or a wheat field or something like that). I like a lot of variety in my puzzles because I put them together using visual clues (as opposed to by the way the pieces are shaped).
So, this puzzle is perfect. It is a collage of vintage Coca-Cola ads. It's like putting together a bunch of mini-puzzles. Here is a progression of our work week-by-week:
Week One: Edge pieces and ...
... Coca-Cola signs
Week Two & Three: People
Week Four: All Done!
I saw another Coca-Cola puzzle I wanted this year in the Hallmark store. It is called "Santa's Workshop." According to both my mom and Greg, they were all sold out. (I guess I should have given them the internet link. Didn't think about it, actually.)
Ah, well. There is always next year! Do you do puzzles? Do you have a favorite?
posted by Deeanne at 11:33 AM
Monday, December 18, 2006
24 Years of Wedded Bliss
Twenty-four years ago today I was pledging my life to Gregory Gist. One of the smartest moves I ever made. He has given me a wonderful family heritage from the Gist side, he has been--and continues to be--my best friend, my hero and the love of my life.
To celebrate, he took me out to dinner last night and gave me some Dannelle Woody jewelry. Dannelle Woody is a local artist who has one or two shows a year. I never miss them. All of her jewelry comes with the Scripture that inspired the piece.
I had totally forgotten that Greg had met her one time at the mall while I was with him and that they exchanged cards. But he hung onto Dannelle's card, contacted her and commissioned these pieces for our anniversary. I have many, many pieces of Dannelle's and never have I seen one that moved me as much as this one.
I love that the embracing couple is welded onto the cross--symbolizing that Christ is at the center of their love. And this time, instead of including the Scripture on a notecard, Dannelle engraved a Scripture that Greg picked out on the back of the cross.
Greg told me that my book covers inspired Dannelle. And when I looked again at the cross, I saw that the woman was wearing a gown similar to the one on the cover of Lady and that her foot was peeking out from beneath her skirts. How special is that?
My photos don't do the pieces justice, though. I wish you could see these crystals. Dannelle almost always uses antiques and they sparkle like nobody's business. All of her pieces are originals. So no one in the whole world will have a cross like this.
I cried when I put it on, because I knew that this jewelry would become some of my all-time favorite and that it would be heirlooms that would be passed down to my children and then to their children and so on.
I pray that God will continue to bless both my marriage and Dannelle's work . (I would send you to her website, but she doesn't have one. When she gets one, though, I will be sure to let you know!)
Thanks for letting me gush. I'm just so full up I can hardly stand it!
posted by Deeanne at 10:07 AM
Friday, December 15, 2006
10 Days Til Christmas!
My sister most always makes homemade gifts for Christmas. One year she gave me a tree skirt, another time she made a nifty little quilt that folded up into a little pouch for easy storing or carrying. Several years back she made me the advent calendar I have pictured. Starting at the beginning of December, you flip over a star and it tells you how many days are left until Christmas.
Then, on Christmas Day, the calendar is full of stars.
The kids used to fight over whose day it was to turn over the star. So I had to start marking down whose day it was. Then, they made me mix up the order so the same child didn't always get to turn over the final star year after year.
These days, I don't have to designate who gets what day. As a matter of fact, I don't do anything but hang it up and magically, the stars are turned everyday. I don't really know who turns them over, though.
Neither of my sisters will be in town this year to celebrate Christmas with us, but one of my nephew's will. He and his girlfriend and my parents will come over to our house tomorrow for a big breakfast and a Christmas celebration.
What about you? Do you have advent calendars at your house? Will you be spending the holidays with extended family?
posted by Deeanne at 6:48 PM
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The Nativity Story
Greg and I went to see The Nativity Story last night. If you're familiar with the story, it's easy to follow and a feel-good movie. If you aren't familiar with the story, it might be a bit confusing at times.
The movie opens with Zechariah going into the temple to burn incense and receiving the news from a "voice" that his wife will bear him a son. Then, they flash over to Nazareth and Mary. Those who aren't familiar with the story might have assumed Zechariah was Joseph and get hopelessly lost in those first few scenes.
It all plays out, of course, but clearly the producers assumed their audience would be intimately familiar with the details (they'd know who Herod was and where he ruled and that he ordered all Jewish male offspring in Bethlehem under the age of two to be killed (although that didn't happen the night Christ was born, as the movie insinuates) etc.)--all of which is fine. The photography was wonderful and the sets and costumes authentic. The film focused on Mary and Joseph, emphasizing the hardships they faced by being appointed the unsuspecting parents of the Messiah.
It made me think for the first time that Jesus' hometown might have ostracized him for being conceived out of wedlock. Certainly, Mary and Joseph faced rejection and shunning from friends and relatives.
I cried and cried when Jesus was born and when the shepherds came to worship. When the wise men arrived at the stable with their gifts (which in reality didn't happen until much later--when Jesus was about 2 years old), it brought home to me how their offerings assured that Jesus' family would be taken care of economically.
All in all, I definitely thought it was worth the ticket price and that it would be a great movie to see as part of your Christmas celebration. Has anyone else seen it yet? What did you think?
posted by Deeanne at 10:05 AM
Monday, December 11, 2006
Bibles Are Like Cowboy Boots
Bibles are like cowboy boots and baseball gloves. You can't just go out and replace the one you have because it has been broken in to fit you just right. But after a while, there comes a time when the one you have is just plumb worn out.
My Bible wasn't worn out so much as the formatting was no longer working for me. I loved the large print, but I'm one of those folks who writes in her Bible. Not just a little. A lot. And that Beth Moore study I took of Daniel was so good, I wanted to make a bazillion notes in the margins of my Bible.
Problem was: There are no margins in my Bible. Mostly, I suppose, because of the large print. Same thing happened when I did a study of Revelation. So I ... gulp ... went out and bought me a new Bible. Now, I could have put it on my Christmas list. But, again, I compare this to cowboy boots. You have to pick out your own, you know?
And check this out: Zondervan has a "Wide Margin" Bible!
I'm soooo excited. Now, the real work begins. First, putting in the tabs. With that really pretty leather-bound cover and gold edging the paper, you'd think I'd pick out pretty gold-colored tabs. Nope. I want the rainbow-colored tabs or none at all.
The reason is the colors divide my Bible up and makes it more "managable"--for me, anyway. The pink tabs are the Pentateuch. The orange: History. Yellow: Poetry & Wisdom. Green: The Prophets. Blue: The Gospels. Purple: The Letters.
I love this because everytime I look something up I think to myself, "Oh, this guy's in the green section, so he must be a prophet." Or, "Moses wrote this one." And so on.
Next, I go through each page of my old Bible and anything that I've highlighted in that Bible, I highlight in the new one. That's what I'm in the process of doing now and it's been such a pleasure to read each of these verses that are so special to me. I've gotten as far as Ephesians.
As soon as I've finished that, then I have to transpose all my notes. And when I'm all done, I'll have a new Bible with all the comforts of home.
What about you? Do you have a favorite Bible? Do you write in it? (My grandpa never, ever wrote in his Bible. He just didn't feel right about it. My grandma, however, had notes scribbled all over hers and I love to read her notes.) Do you have a favorite translation? (Our former pastor calls the NIV the Needs Improvement Version, yet it's my absolute favorite and my new Bible is NIV.) What about red-letter? (I've always wanted a red-letter and this wide-margin Bible had it! I was so pumped!) Hardback? Paperback? Leather? Study Bible?
Tell us about yours.
posted by Deeanne at 10:36 AM
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Homemade Gingerbread Houses
One Christmas my mother-in-law gave me a Pampered Chef gingerbread house mold. I remember unwrapping it, shooting a glance at her and saying, "I'm not sure whether to thank you or ring your neck."
We both laughed because I never do anything in half-measures. If I'm going to make a gingerbread house, I'm gonna do it up right. So ... each year I made between 7 and 9 houses. I'd mold them, bake them, and build them. Then, I'd sit the four kids around the table armed with candy, marshmellows and cake-decorating implements.
They'd make one for their school teacher, one for each grandmother and one for us. On New Year's Day, they'd gather around our gingerbread house and slug it, hammer it, and pound on it until it was in small bite size pieces. Then ... they'd dine.
That tradition ended when the kids entered Junior High and had about 8 teachers each. Not happening.
Last night, our 17 year old came home and decided she wanted to make a gingerbread house for some project they were doing in German class. She had no idea how much work was involved.
Here she is pressing the gingerbread dough into the mold:
Now she is gluing it together with egg whites and cream of tartar. (A tricky step.)
Next she frosts the house and decorates it.
And here she is, with a beautiful gingerbread house (while behind the camera-man is one messy, messy kitchen!)
Here's some close up views of the front and back. It's cute, isn't it?
Do you do any kind of Christmas baking? Tell us about it.
posted by Deeanne at 11:23 AM
Monday, December 04, 2006
Congratulations to Carol from Pennsylvania. She won last month's contest. The question was:
Which of the following female names cannot be found on Deeanne's family tree?
Here's how you voted:
52% voted for Zenith
24% voted for Zola
14% voted for Hazel
5% voted for Tennessee
5% voted for Birdie
The correct answer is:
We do not have any Zolas on our family tree!
The new contest is up. This month's question is:
What foreign country did Deeanne live in when she was in the 3rd grade?
Click here to cast your vote and for your opportunity to win! And, once again, congratulations to Carol who chose an autographed copy of A Bride Most Begrudging for her prize.
- South America
posted by Deeanne at 12:04 PM
Friday, December 01, 2006
It was 74 degrees outside when I woke up yesterday morning (as it had been for most of November). In a span of about 25 minutes, the temperature plummeted 30 degrees. The change occurred so quickly it fogged up the windows of the house. By lunchtime, it was in the mid-thirties, raining and windy. An all round miserable day.
The good news is, we got to turn on the fireplace. I suppose that sounds a bit odd. Usually one "lights" a fire in the fireplace. But we have one of those new-fangled gas fireplaces that's operated by a remote control. You simply push the red button on the remote and whoosh--the fire's going strong. (Greg calls it "instant romance." ha!) You can't really see it in the photo, but the fire is burning.
Today the wind and rain are gone, replaced by blue skys and sunshine. It's still in the 30s, but oh so pretty. I saw on the TV that the mid-west is taking a beating weather-wise. What's it like where you are?
posted by Deeanne at 12:10 PM
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