Thursday, December 14, 2023

A Big Bite, Family, and Feeling Loved

 We had our big office staff Christmas party this week. Our Executive Assistant goes above and beyond when planning events. I asked her one time how she thinks of everything and she said, "Sometimes it just comes to me in a dream." Definitely a gift from the Lord.
We all got our own charcuterie tray ~

 Lunch came after this - steak, rice, veggies, then various cakes for dessert. Each department buys a gift for the raffle then numbers are drawn and gifts are handed out, some fun, some fancy. I won a gift card to a new gourmet ice cream shop! Future date night!
We sang Christmas carols, there was a contest to see who could guess the number of Hershey's kisses in the jar, then we all got a container of cookies and a box of Harry and David's chocolate to take home. She always makes you feel so loved and appreciated!

Chuck, Beth and I went out for lunch recently. The Family Pancake House is one of our favorite places to eat!

We're getting ready to go see this little one...

She turns a year old on Sunday! Hard to believe an entire year has gone by. 
I'll be away from my computer for a while so I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! God bless you all this Christmas season and all year long!

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Moving Right Along, Saying Thank You, and It Was Time

 Beth bought a couple boxes of gourmet cookies to give to the DART drivers, the dispatchers and others who work to get her where she needs to go. I'm not always sure how companies are handling the latest strain of covid so I didn't want to make something at home. So she included a small tray they could set all the cookies on when he got back to the base, along with a card thanking all of them for helping her. 

 One week after Thanksgiving our staff at work got together and... decorated for Christmas! Each department decorates a different area and it usually takes us about three hours, then we order pizza and all have lunch together.
The Front Office - During and After 

Our main entrance


This is the area where I worked, helping to put up and decorate this tree, then my boss and I hung white stars from the ceiling. The same stars as on top of the trees.

 I love the way our church looks at Christmas. I wish we could leave it up all year!

It was time for some shoe shopping this week. Beth couldn't find the same shoes she's worn lately so she tried on some Sauconys. They're the shoes I bought for our Israel trip in May and they're fantastic. I wore them exclusively in Israel and almost constantly since we got home, and they just now need to be replaced. 

She did her usual strut walk around the aisles (her stride is not that big when she's walking!) and decided to buy a pair. I bought another pair too.

What is it about shopping? Walking out of a store with an arm load of bags just makes you feel so good, doesn't it?! I hope you've had a good weekend!

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Stage Was Set

 We spent days setting up and prepping for Thanksgiving. There were more than 500 volunteers this year! That's a record.
 Our reception area - with coffee, tea and snacks. 
Plus a few areas with games and puzzles for the kids.

Our clothing bank. 
Everything throughout the entire day was free.


 Preparing the 'dining room' and the server stations

Then the stage was set and the guests were brought in.

This was taken at one of our outreaches before covid

The servers resetting the tables for the second seating
With all three seatings we served more than 1100 guests

Can you guess which one was the entertainer?

He's phenomenal! He goes by Chagy, (Shaggy) He's bilingual and does the show in both Spanish and English. At once! A sentence in one and then the other. And he doesn't skip a beat. He absolutely captivates the audience - they laugh and clap and cheer. I peeked in one time and every one was captivated! Every face looking at the stage. And best of all? He explains the gospel so well. More than 80 people gave their lives to the Lord!
We had our family Thanksgiving on Friday (forgot to take pictures) so I was up, put the turkey in the oven and got the house ready for Sharaya and Ally. After dinner we played Mexican Train and had lemon meringue pie for dessert. Then I was back at work on Saturday to help the custodians get the building ready for Sunday. Sunday of course was church and I taught my Sunday school class.

On Monday we got the day off so I was able to just relax. Stayed in my bathrobe the entire day. Took a shower... and put on clean pajamas. ๐Ÿ˜Š And watched one of my favorite movies of all time: The Little Drummer Boy. The old stop-motion version that came out in the 1960s. Every time I see it I'm taken back to my seven year old self sitting cross-legged on the living room floor completely mesmerized. 

When Aaron admits to the king that he doesn't have anything worthy to give the Baby Jesus, I can't help but feel the same way, and the tears come. Then he humbly chooses to give the only thing he knows, he plays his drum. As small and insignificant as Aaron thinks it is, that little baby, the Lord Jesus accepts it, and accepts Aaron.  ♫"And then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum..." Brings me to tears even now. We're all His children. He still accepts us today, still wants us to come to Him, still smiles at us. He is such a good and Holy God. 

We have so much to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Countdowwn, Turkey Toss, One of Her Favorite Things

Five days before Thanksgiving. For us the holiday is focused on our church outreach. We feed about 1200 from our community: the homeless, first responders who are on duty, immigrants, and entire families. They come to have their photos taken, enjoy a complete Thanksgiving meal, access to our clothing bank, and a fun show that includes the gospel. Plus there are more than 400 volunteers.
We've been prepping for months and tomorrow begins room set ups. It's a grueling week but by the weekend, I'm so grateful to have been a part of such an amazing outreach. Something our family has been a part of for more than 25 years. These are from last year...
 We have Translators

 We'll have our family Thanksgiving on Friday. Sharaya and Ally will come over, we'll watch our traditional after-dinner movie and play games. And we'll probably video chat with Diana and Peter. Then on Saturday...
 This is what I plan to do all day! ๐Ÿ˜Š

 Beth and I got our hair cut this week. Same styles, just shorter. I suggested we take a selfie together but she didn't seem excited about that idea. So I just took one of her, then took mine when I got home. She'll talk for days about everyone who will see how different she looks, "I can show my friends on Tuesday!" "My sisters will be surprised!" She loves getting her hair cut!

 We had our Third Annual Turkey Toss at work last week. The Executive Assistant comes up with the most fun and crazy events for us - the goal is to see who can throw a frozen, wrapped-in-duct-tape turkey the farthest. This year there was a Lightweight division, for those of us over 55 (and there are a lot actually!) I think ours was a game hen. Anyway, there was hot chocolate... and lots of laughter!

 See the blue dot at the top of the yellow tree? That's the turkey!
Some of them threw 29 feet, 31 feet! It was crazy far!
I don't know if you can make out the blue chalk inside the circle. They put our initials where our throws landed. And you see the traffic cone? Right there at the starting line? That's my throw. Yep, 4 feet. I thought I would try to toss it like I was bowling but it slipped out of my hand! There were no actual prizes, just the honor of titles like Highest Toss, Farthest Toss, and mine? I got Biggest Oops! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I absolutely love where I work! We have the most fun!

 I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving. I pray no one is alone this weekend and that you get to share a meal with others. Whether it's with family, or friends or if you come to an outreach like ours, maybe with friends you haven't met yet. I'm thankful for you. You bless me more than you'll ever know. May the Lord bless you too!