Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

This blog has been on a long extended break of activity. I, however, haven’t. It has been a busy semester. I had full intentions of posting often about our new Tapestry of Grace homeschool co-op. I’d had intentions of keeping up with my 1,000 Gifts list. I’d wanted to post cute videos and pictures and have this little spot on the web be my online scrapbook for all of my 5 readers (like my mom, mother-in-law and sis). However, while I have been busy, this blog has been quiet.

So dear readers, welcome to my quarterly post 🙂

Here are some things I do wish to accomplish in 2012…

Read the Bible daily

Exercise regularly

Spend more one-on-one time with my children

Read more books

And that is it. I’m not much on New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t like to set myself up for failure. However, I love spending time with my kids. I just need to be more intentional. I tend to think the special times will happen as I grab one and go to the store but such is not the case. So, I want to go on breakfast dates and really get them alone. I’m looking forward to this. I also love exercising and plan to get a little in daily. As far as books, I used to read lots of them. Sadly, computer time has replaced much of my book-reading time… and I miss it.

Two books I really enjoyed last year are 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp and Made to Crave by Lysa Terquist. What were your favorites? I’d like to make a reading list for this year and I’d love suggestions.

Happy 2012. Maybe this year I’ll post more than every 3 months. Then again, if I really stick to my list and keep teaching and feeding all my kiddos, maybe not 🙂

Good Friday

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Anna danced this evening at our Good Friday service to a piece she choreographed. What a beautiful service and what a blessing for her to be a part of it.

Lyrics to “The Look” by Sovereign Grace

I saw one hanging on a tree
In agony and blood
Who fixed His loving eyes on me
As near His cross I stood
And never till my dying breath
Will I forget that look
It seemed to charge me with His death
Though not a word He spoke

My conscience felt and owned the guilt
And plunged me in despair
I saw my sins His blood had spilt
And helped to nail Him there
But with a second look He said
“I freely all forgive
This blood is for your ransom paid
I died that you might live”

Forever etched upon my mind
Is the look of Him who died
The Lamb I crucified
And now my life will sing the praise
Of pure atoning grace
That looked on me and gladly took my place

Thus while His death my sin displays
For all the world to view
Such is the mystery of grace
It seals my pardon too
With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is filled
That I should such a life destroy
Yet live by Him I killed

“The Look”, Original lyrics by John Newton. Music and alt. lyrics by Bob Kauflin.
©2001 Sovereign Grace Praise(BMI). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries.
From Songs for the Cross Centered Life and Upward: The Bob Kauflin Hymns Project.

New Year’s Resolutions (without a spreadsheet)

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

I typically don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I used to. I’d make goals and spreadsheets breaking huge goals into manageable daily, weekly, monthly achievements. For example, I once remembered having categories – marriage, children, spiritual life, health, home management, friendships, etc. For each category, I’d write a weekly, monthly and yearly goal. It looked impressive and just filling out the spreadsheet gave me a huge sense of accomplishment.

Somewhere about a decade ago, I quit doing this. I got too busy living life to plan each moment of it. Once my twins were born, I lost the privilege of sitting down to “think” until… about now. I had four children under four and then five under seven and then six when my oldest was twelve. The goal-setting spreadsheets just haven’t happened. But life has.

And now that my oldest is making a New Year’s brunch for us and my youngest is “helping” her, I’m sitting at my computer and “thinking” about my goals for this year. Now I approach the goal setting differently. Instead of spreadsheets, I prefer to just think, “What has been a good thing this past year?  What do I not regret?” I don’t like to think of approaching this negatively. Don’t ask me to change!

1.  I’ve never regretted spending time in God’s word. I want more of that, so I intend to read through the entire Bible. That is something I’ve never done in a year.  My prayer is that not only would I be a hearer of the word, but a doer of it as well. While I was unable to attend church last Sunday because of inclement weather, I listened to our pastor’s podcast, In Pursuit of a Happy New Year, as I made my way through yesterday’s mountain of laundry. If you need some encouragement to stay in the word in 2011, I encourage you to listen to it too!

Lord, as I seek you, may you direct my path!

2. I’ve never regretted spending time with my husband and children.  I think this year needs to bring more of that. More games. More books. More family time. I think even some trips to Carowinds would be nice:) I have built-in babysitters now. I plan to take advantage of that and actually date my hubby once in a while.

3. I’ve never regretted exercising or eating healthily. Bethany is my new workout buddy and she is awesome. I don’t need to break this goal down any further.  She keeps me accountable enough! Now that our Chick-fil-A coupons are gone, maybe the eating healthy part will be a little easier too!

4. I’ve never regretted cultivating relationships with my girlfriends. This one gets tough at times because I’m busy and so are they. However, I feel it’s important to be intentional with friendships.  Women do need one another! A couple of retreats are on my calendar. Can’t wait! And some moms nights out definitely need to happen.

There are lots of thinks I’d like to do. My pictures are a mess and I’d like to see them in better order. The attic needs some organization. I’d love to try new recipes and read more books. Might I ever gain victory over the laundry pile that seems to live on my bedroom floor? Maybe. But that and those other things probably would require filling out some kind of spreadsheet to make them happen. I don’t have time for that because our pancakes are now ready and Bethany wants to exercise! I think my fifteen minutes of goal setting are over!

Happy 2011 friends! What do you hope to accomplish this year?

Best. Christmas. Ever.

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Every Christmas is wonderful. It’s not the presents under the tree, the food or the traditions that make a wonderful Christmas. Every year, Jesus is celebrated. Every year, we reflect on the greatest gift ever given. Every year, we rejoice in the birth of our Savior. I just can’t seem to “rate” our Christmases because they are all precious to me. However, the Jobe kids universally declared that 2010 was “The Best. Christmas. Ever.” I live with teens now so this was an “epic” Christmas. It ruled. It was “pure awesomeness” for a multitude of reasons.

#1. We had a gorgeous tree. I’m a dummy and didn’t get a picture of it, but really, it was symmetrical, huge (11-ish feet), and only $25. I could write a whole post about my tree, but in summary and in keeping with the teen talk, we “scored.” The day after Thanksgiving as we were driving home from spending time off the mountain with family, Anna, my fifteen year old daughter, read a friend’s facebook status update and informed us that this guy’s family had trees for sale for $25. I envisioned a family tree farm and thought, “Sure. We’ll support our friends.” So, we pulled over at the designated location and were surrounded by big-eyed boy scouts shivering from standing in the freezing cold trying to sell the last of the bailed trees that had been donated to benefit their troop. I’d not envisioned picking up a bailed tree on the side of the road from some scouts. We live in the mountains. We typically do hay rides and meander through Christmas tree farms in pursuit of our yearly tree. We don’t buy them unseen or uncut. But neither my hubby nor I could say no to the boy scouts ready to tie slip-knots and secure the last of their trees-for-sale on our huge 12-passenger van. Daniel said as the scouts got to work, “Honey, I’ll just throw it in the woods when we get home if it’s ugly.” It wasn’t ugly. In fact, it was gorgeous. We could not believe it. The. Best. Tree. Ever. All for $25.

Pot holders for Ma Boo.

#2. We stayed home. Neither of our families are local, so often we travel on or around Christmas, but not this year. We missed seeing my family, but because my parents lived with us for six months as my dad waited for his heart transplant, we were blessed to have more time with them this year than we’ve ever had. We enjoyed the slower pace of celebrating Jesus’ birthday at our own house.

Converse socks and ear warmers from Uncle Stephen

#3 Family came to see us. Christmas Eve, Daniel’s parents and brother arrived and attended our Christmas Eve service with us. Anna and Christina danced and it was beautiful. Having Ma Boo and Grandall and Uncle Stephen  with us Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and for breakfast on Sunday was special indeed.

#4. We didn’t lose power. Last year, we had an ice storm and were without power for 48 hours. We ate cold bread and drank Sprite for our holiday meal. We couldn’t play new Wii games. We were freezing. We couldn’t flush potties. We couldn’t take showers. We slept in the den all together and Esther didn’t like it. It was not the best Christmas ever.

#5. Though we kept our power, it snowed. Yes, we had a white Christmas – a gorgeous white Christmas. Peaceful. Beautiful… About a foot of the pretty powdery stuff… not the dangerous icy stuff.

#6. The children had no wrapped gifts from their parents. They were a little worried. Even on Christmas morning, Christina questioned me, “Seriously, Mom, did you really not get us anything?” This year we gave each child two gifts and neither of them were “wrap-able.” The first is a promise to see Tim Hawkins, a hilarious Christian comedian, live in March. Many evenings we’ve spent as a family laughing at his you-tube videos. All of our children love him! They’ve never been to a live show such as this and are so looking forward to it! The second gift is family season passes to Carowinds, an amusement park two hours away. Instead of unwrapping their gifts, the children played Wheel of Fortune to guess the gifts in puzzles. This was a total blast and took about thirty minutes on Christmas morning. Once they figured out the puzzle, they were absolutely ecstatic! Our large gang doesn’t frequent amusement parks often. We’re all looking forward to some special family times ahead on roller coasters and water slides!

Our Wheel of Fortune guess the gift game

Carowinds Season Passes

#7. I didn’t shop in any malls or stores. None. Tickets were ordered online. I baked a little. I made my parents and in-laws picture calendars. Staying out of the stores made for a much more peaceful me.

#8. The children, however, shopped for one another. Five siblings (Esther didn’t give, but she received) X 5 gifts each, meant that even though mom and dad didn’t put gifts under the tree, there were still 25 beautifully wrapped presents. This is the first year they’ve done this and I must admit, I loved it. They spent time thinking about one another and were good shoppers. Anna styled little brother up a bit. Nathan bought perfume from Bath and Body Works with Bethany’s help for big sisters. Sarah patronized the dollar store and selected everyone’s favorite candy. Sweet. Very sweet.

Presents... all bought by the children for one another

Precious Esther

#9. We read Jotham’s Journey every day of Advent. I highly recommend this sweet story. From the website of the author:

After running away from his father’s tents in a moment of anger, ten-year-old Jotham has lost his way, and his family. As he journeys through Palestine in search of his nomadic home, Jotham is helped by a fool, a priest, a zealot and a wise man. Chased by a gang of thieves, thrown from one “foster parent” to another, Jotham slowly discovers the miracle of the first Christmas, and some miraculous things about his own life and his own family.

Written as a devotional for parents to read to their children during Advent, Jotham’s Journey unfolds day by day until the exciting climax on Christmas Day. Each day’s installment of the story is followed by a short devotional which will challenge your family to share in Jotham’s discoveries.

My children all enjoyed our evening time together reading this Advent story!

#10. We gathered with friends Christmas night and played new games. Some of our dearest friends who live in our neighborhood invited us over and we so enjoyed our time of fellowship with them! The children think next year we should invite a family over to our house for games. They’d like to see this become a new tradition! Enjoying some time with dear friends after an already perfectly wonderful day was just “icing on the happy-birthday-Jesus cake!”

Game time with friends

My children say this was the best Christmas ever. I disagree. The first Christmas was the best ever 🙂 However, this one was special. Very special. Maybe even epic.

Christmas Card, Anyone?

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Our Christmas card doorway... and Daniel hiding behind his computer in the background.

Have you noticed the traditional Christmas card is slowly becoming extinct?

Once upon a time Christmas cards were the thing to do in December. I looked forward to receiving updates from friends nearly every day in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Those cards were part of Christmas for me. Across my doorway, I’d hang them and marvel at how festive they appeared. Many years I needed more than one doorway to display them all. Not any more.

I blame e-mail. More and more letters began to come my way in digital form. I succumbed to the fast, easy and cheap e-mail cards over the laborious, expensive and old-fashioned snail mail method myself for a few years.

Now there is facebook. Who needs a yearly update when you can click on over to your “friend” of twenty years back and see that they “checked in” at Target twenty minutes ago and just uploaded the fourth album of the month updating all who care of their most recent family vacation?

There are a few Christmas cards over my doorway this year, but just a few. Most of them are from really close friends who know that I cut off the “card” part of the family Christmas card/photo and keep the picture part. My fridge is full of pictures of people I love. If you send me a picture of your family, it will not be thrown in the trash 🙂

This post sounds like I’m complaining, but actually I’m not. I’m really busy in December and I’ll admit that over the years, I’ve taken the “pressure” to get a decent picture of our massive family for all our friends off my to do list. I’m a stickler for adding to the scrapbook so I did write a letter… but one I could print and maybe one or two of my friends would stumble upon – not one printed on pretty paper and mailed to everyone in my address book. I did, however, order some photo cards.

You know you want one!

I came across a deal… 60 photo cards for $4.50 which included free shipping. I decided to take advantage of this and ordered our family beach photo my dear friend took when we vacationed together last fall. It’s the closest thing to a professional picture we’ve ever had made. After looking through my address book, I decided to order both under my e-mail and Daniel’s so I could have 120 pictures for $9.00. Now, that is a lot of pictures! I didn’t need more than about 80, but getting 120 was cheaper than getting what I needed so I decided, “This will be a Christmas card year for us!” I could give them to anyone who remotely cares and have a stack of these wonderful pictures to give to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren one day.

I made a mistake. One of the orders I did right. All information on the card website was correct. However, I pushed “send” before realizing that the other order had the wrong state name in my address. Oh no! I sent the company an e-mail and called customer service to no avail. After two days, the “correct” order arrived. Several days passed and the other order obviously was lost, and I gave up ever seeing it. Sixty cards really was enough and spending $9.00 for them wasn’t a bad deal. Future generations would just have to live without them.

Much to my surprise, yesterday the shipment arrived. The address was indeed incorrect, but the zip code must have trumped the wrong state! After bringing in my order from the mailbox, I checked my inbox and received an e-mail from the picture company. Customer service was quite apologetic about my inability to reach a “real” person. “We are going to refund you the entire cost of purchase as well as reprocess your order. However, it most likely won’t arrive before Christmas,” I read.

They were wrong. It’s Christmas Eve and at 7:30 this morning, Fed-Ex rang my doorbell. I now have 180 Christmas cards of our family all for $4.50. The problem is, I don’t have 180 friends who’d care to have a photo of us, no matter what my friend count on facebook says. I don’t think even future generations will know what to do with all these pictures. Five of my children and my husband are participating in our church’s Christmas Eve service tonight. I may just sign up to be the greeter and hand one to all who attend!

Christmas card, anyone? I’m serious. This year, I’m doing my best to be counter-cultural. I have cards and will send!

Merry Christmas!

2010 Christmas Letter

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends! I hope you are all able to take a little extra time to focus on Jesus this season – truly the greatest gift ever given!

As I reflect upon this past year, I am full of gratitude. I’m thankful for many things but restored health is at the top of my list – especially for my dad who received a much needed heart transplant last Spring. Before his surgery, he and my mother moved in with our family so that they could be near Charlotte, the nearest city to their south Georgia town where he could have a transplant. The time my parents lived with us was a time of sweetness, yet also a time of

Our small group gathered around Dad's chair. He was in the hospital and sent the heart pillow for us to sign.

much anxiety. For five months, in the midst of a trial, the Lord gave our family extended time to be together and much grace.  Normally, out-of-town grandchildren are able to “put on their best behavior” for a few visiting days a year to see family. For that matter, grandparents and parents are able to do the same! For the first time in my children’s lives, they were able to “be real” with Nana and Pop. We lived life together. We laughed, cried, and yes, at times, showed our “at-home-and-not-visiting” sides. I consider that a blessing because I’ve longed for my parents to really know my children. Through our time together, we all grew very close. My parents also met many of my friends and were embraced by them. Our church and small group prayed with and for them. Our cell phones were always kept nearby because at any time a much anticipated phone call requesting we be in Charlotte ASAP could occur. We worried. We waited. And we wondered if the call would come before Daddy’s worn out heart might stop. When asked what she wanted for Mother’s Day, my mother replied, “For Byron to have a new heart.” Her wish was granted! Just as we sat down to a lovely Mother’s Day meal, that phone call came! Now, Daddy, while still facing some health challenges, is recovering well and enjoying the miracle of his new heart.

Mom and Dad after Dad's surgery.

Our family has so much to be thankful for. Our children are growing and healthy. Christina, one year ago, had leg surgery to correct tibial torsion, a twisted tibia that she’d had since birth but was not discovered until it began to cause her pain in adolescence. What began as a limp developed into a loss of her ability to even walk without severe pain. It was right after her surgery that my parents moved in with us. We are so thankful to live during a time that such things can be corrected. When asked what she was thankful for this Thanksgiving, Christina replied, “Doctors. Without them, I’d be crippled.” This is so true, and without them, my daddy would not have a new heart.

Yet, even greater than a fixed tibia or a new heart is the precious gift of our Savior. He gives new spiritual hearts to all who turn from their sin and believe in Him. This truth has become very real to me this year as I have prayed and prayed for restored health for my dad. Someone, who lost his life, was able to bless my daddy with a very precious gift – one that cannot be bought. And by this gift, my daddy’s earthly life has been extended. We are incredibly thankful. Yet, even still, all of our lives are merely a vapor. (James 4:14)

However, for those of us who know Jesus, our lives are eternal! He came to us as a tiny baby and those who believe will not perish! There is no greater gift! May we all come and adore the Christ child this Christmas and always!