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Happy Birthday, Jesus! And I Hope Everyone Has a Merry Christmas!

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There is always something magical about Christmas that can bring a smile to our faces. It’s a time for reliving old holiday memories and forming brand new ones. Families are an amazing part of our celebrations and joy. For Christians, it’s a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior who came down on earth and suffered the crucifixion on the cross that we might have eternal life. Sometimes in the glitz and excitement of Christmas decorations and presents, we often forget to say ‘Happy Birthday, Jesus.’ In these days of ‘political correctness’, it’s not even socially acceptable to wish people ‘Merry Christmas’ because it might be offensive to other faiths.

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There are Christians and many other faiths who are suffering from genocide in countries like Syria and Iraq thanks to ISIS, http://centurylink.net/tv/3/player/vendor/Fox%20News/player/embedded/asset/fox_news-thousands_of_christians_flee_home_to_escape_genoci-foxnews/source/Clips and yet here we are, sometimes hesitant to say Merry Christmas or even ‘Happy Birthday, Jesus’ because we might anger someone. Our country was built on the premise of religious freedom, and I believe we are in real danger of losing that freedom when we become ashamed of admitting we’re Christian and telling people exactly why we are celebrating Christmas. I worry that some little children born of the Christian faith still have no idea why we celebrate Christmas except for the fact that Santa Claus comes on Christmas Eve.

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Christmas can be a joyous time for everyone and I treasure all those memories from Christmas’s past, but I still believe saying ‘Merry Christmas’ should never be cause for shame or embarrassment, and we should never forget we are celebrating the birth of our Saviour in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Our country was built on the Christian faith, even though there are some who would like to deny or defame this fact, it still remains the truth. We should all take pride in our religion, whether it be Christian, Jewish, Moslem, or something other. God is powerful enough to sort it all out.

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372This picture to the left was taken in Bethlehem at the spot where Jesus was born.

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I don’t think it matters how we envision Jesus, so long as we love him with all our hearts. I would like to send out positive thoughts and prayers to any who may be in pain or suffering in some way this holiday season.

I’ve saved some of my favorite holiday tunes and I would like to share them with you at https://www.facebook.com/saved/?cref=28

Thanks for stopping by, and may you have a very merry Christmas, or a happy Hanukkah! Peace and joy to you all in 2015!

Bren

 

 

 

 

Wishing You All A Glorious Holiday Season! Have a Wonderful, Safe Thanksgiving!

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Other than celebrating with my family, some of my fondest memories are of celebrating Thanksgiving with my kindergarten classes. It was wonderful because we could incorporate so many subjects during this time. We did social studies, math, language arts, and the art of sharing within communities. I loved when we would write our ‘Why I Am Thankful’ books. The kids would be thankful for their families, home, food on the table, their pets, and one more pragmatic girl was thankful that her dad had gotten out of jail, which made sense. It was such an amazing, sweet time for the students when kindergarten was still a garden where they were free to grow without worrying about test scores. What they were grateful for were all the basic things that made them feel safe and loved and free to learn.

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When I think of those little ‘Thanksgiving’ books, it reminds me of the importance of maintaining my own attitude of gratitude; sometimes not always easy to remember. In almost every self-help book I’ve ever read, one of the suggestions seems to be to think of ten things to be grateful for every day of your life. I try and do that, but much like exercise, often I don’t follow through.

I believe it’s easy to be too grandiose in the things we’re grateful for, whereas, if we just stick to the basics like kindergarteners, it’s much easier to remember to say thank you every day.  Once, I remember being thankful that I hadn’t received another ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ book by Rick Warren  in the previous six months. http://www.amazon.com/Purpose-Driven-Life-What-Earth-ebook/dp/B008EGV4BQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416957273&sr=8-1&keywords=the+purpose+driven+life Seriously, I must have received six ‘Purpose Driven’ books in one year.  I was really beginning to take it quite personally! LOL! ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ is really a fantastic book that was on the bestsellers’ list for something like a gajillion years, but I began to feel that Rick Warren should send me a thank you card for keeping him on the list!

But giving it some serious thought, the things I’m most grateful for are the same as those little kindergarteners I used to teach. I guess it is true that everything we most needed to learn, we have learned it in kindergarten! ‘Everything I Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten’ by Robert Fulghum http://www.amazon.com/Really-Need-Know-Learned-Kindergarten-ebook/dp/B000FC1LRY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416956695&sr=8-1&keywords=everything+i+need+to+know+i+learned+in+kindergarten was another one of those fabulous books to read. But I did not receive six copies of that one–just the one!

I hope you all have a safe, happy Thanksgiving and that you have more blessings than you can count this year. Enjoy that turkey, and maybe we’ll all start that exercise program after the holidays. I think I’ll go reread ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ right now and finally discover why on earth I’m here! Thanks for stopping by. If you’d care to share, I’d love to hear what you’re most grateful for this Thanksgiving!

Bren

 

Happy Birthday & Happy Anniversary, Sis!

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Happy 51st anniversary Margaret & Gary and happy something-something birthday, Sis! Still looking amazing! Who knew when you got married so young, that it would be such an exciting adventure! We had the privilege of celebrating your 50th anniversary with y’all on a cruise, and we hope the 51st is just as much fun!

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Cheers!!!

 

 

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Remember all those fun Thanksgiving dinners you used to cook for all of us?  You’ve always been a very giving person, willing to do whatever was needed for your family and friends. I hear your Fourth-of-July picnics are just as famous as your Thanksgivings used to be.

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You married very young, and even though you weren’t much more than a kid yourself, you raised three great kids, with families of their own now. Time flies by, but it’s always wonderful to maintain all those memories.

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You’ve been lucky that you’ve always had Gary by your side, in good times and bad, fortunately, more good times than bad. The holidays have always been good memories for us all.

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But sometimes, I remember you more as my big sis, the one who always lived the glamorous life in my eyes with her friends and her dates. I even recall going with you on a few of those dates! What a great chaperone I must have made!

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You were the one I figured would look out for me no matter where we might travel. It wasn’t always an easy trip in our family, but you were always there when I needed you.

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Time passes, and that’s something we can all be assured of, but I hope that you have a fabulous birthday and anniversary this year, because you deserve it. So I guess all I’d like to say is, “Happy birthday sis, and happy anniversary to you both! May you have many more exciting adventures ahead of you! Love you, your sis!

Thanks for stopping by.

Bren

Thanking you all for your service, Veterans!

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Veteran’s Day is our day to honor those who have fought for our country. November 11th is just one day out of the year, but I think we owe thanks to our vets, and our active military, each and every day of the year. I am very proud that my husband and daughter served in the military, and that my son-in-law and niece are still actively serving our country.

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Whether they have fought in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq, or Afghanistan, or much earlier wars when our country was first created, I believe we should never forget the sacrifices our military have made for the USA and remember we owe them a debt. Many veterans have come back physically or emotionally wounded, and many gave the ultimate price with their lives. We should not just reserve one day a year to thank our vets and our military for their unselfish service to our country. I know how much it means to my husband when he wears a military cap and people tell him, “Thank you for your service.” It’s a small thing, but it means a lot.

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Above are pictures of some family members who served our country. It’s funny, because I can picture many other family members in their uniforms, but I searched for their pictures in albums, but I couldn’t find them. Our pasts have so much power over our present, and we should never forget those who proudly served our country. When I look at these pictures, one thing that impresses me is the fact that they all look so proud in their uniforms. They forever remain a band of brothers and sisters who have made a choice to serve their country to the best of their ability. It’s an impressive decision to have made and we should thank them for that choice.

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USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor

God Bless you all for your ultimate sacrifice!

Let us all hope that we never forget what the men and women of the US military have done for us as a country. Thank you all for protecting our freedoms, and God bless America!

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Thanks for stopping by.

Bren

Happy Birthday Mom–You’d Be 95 If You Were Still With Us!

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I always think of you, Mom, and never more than when your birthday rolls around. Married at nineteen, you and your husband  left the only home you knew in the South during the Depression to find a better life for your family in California. I don’t think either of you knew how courageous you were.

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You were always a very private woman, and oftentimes, I wished we had talked more about what your life was like when you were young. As a family, we don’t have that many pictures of you, because you were always the one behind the camera, recording the memories. If I had known then, what I know now, I would have made sure there were more pictures of you, because you were so much a major part of those memories. You were the glue that kept us together, and grounded us in what was important.

005I know you had a sister you loved, and she died when she was quite young. It hurt you so much, you could never talk about her. I often wish I could have shared the hurt and love you had for her. I wish I could have talked to you about what you hoped and dreamed for when you were young.

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Family was important to you, and all the grandchildren have stories about the holiday memories grandma created just for them.  We’ll always remember the wonderful holiday meals you cooked for us–and the pies–oh the pies! You made every holiday special, and I can still remember coloring Easter eggs and taking them out to Corral Hollow and hiding them in the fields, because that just made it more exciting to find them.

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As I grow older, I see more and more of myself in you. Maybe that’s why I wished I’d known you better, because then I’d know myself. Happy birthday, Mom. Just want you to know your family still loves you, and thinks about you. I know you were smiling down from Heaven when your great-granddaughter Morgan sang “Amazing Grace” on You Tube  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g0VCb9o9S0 Still miss you, Mom! You were amazing!

Thanks for stopping by.

Bren

 

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