Monthly Archives: December 2010

Adios, 2010

Did you have a wonderful Christmas?  Here at the Dettra household, we were blessed beyond our imagination.  The kids got everything they could ever want and so much more.  They tore into those packages which left our living room covered in a sea of wrapping paper.  Our cat, Prissy, was having the time of her life playing in all that paper and in those empty boxes.  Next year, we won’t purchase any kitty toys… we will hand her an empty box.

2010 reminds me of a dear old friend…. Someone you love to spend time with a cozily conversation over a cup of warm cider.  This friend dependable by fault was welcomed each and every day.  2010 was a good year.  A year of discovery and authenticity.  It held loss, heartbreak, and tender sorrow.  But for each day of sorrow, blessings showered around me.

Wal-Mart made me mad, madder and even more mad..

Ventured into Lent as a Vegan..

Betty Crocker came over….

Explored Little Rock for two days….

Who could forget the freezer challenge….

Set out to find balance..

Even rated restrooms across Tenn..

Added another 4 legs and laughter..

Got in the ring with a rooster..

Grossed you out..

Found a new pet peeve..

All in all… 2010 was a great year!!!

Now that Christmas has passed it is time to look forward to the new year.  2011 holds our future, destiny, and aspirations.   UCK!!  I sound so philosophical and that annoys me!  Okay for my first resolution:  Don’t be so philosophical!  Ahem, now where was I?

This year my goals will be more tangible.    Of course the old standard, eat healthy and exercise, will be present.  I am carrying over the quest for balance into the new year.  But I am adding a few different goals this year..

1.  Get an article published.

2.  Meet with a publisher.

3.  Sell a painting.

I made an entire list last night and now… well… I can’t seem to find.. wait a minute… I think #4 needs to be… get organized!!

2010, it is almost time to say good-bye.  You have been a fun year, full of joy, tears and love.  It is my prayer that your brother, 2011, will be just as wonderful… if not more!!

God bless..  And of course, Happy New Year!!!!  I will be spending the next few days with my family.  I will see you next week!!

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Tick Tock

Do you hear it?  Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock.. the sound of time ticking away!!!  Can you believe that Christmas is Saturday??  I am still scratching my head wondering what happened to February!

I have been delinquent in posting.  My mind and attention has sadly been elsewhere.  Cooking, shopping, creating and wrapping has taken over my schedule.  Between the Christmas parties and funerals, I have not had much time in the evenings.  However, I did manage to take a two hour (much needed) nap yesterday afternoon..

So I guess you are wondering when I am posting the 4th week of Advent… well, how about today??

Fourth Sunday of Advent

1.  Light the first 3 candles

2.  Talk about who Matthew was.

3.  Discuss the history of the book of Matthew.

4.  Read Matthew 1:18-25 and discuss the passage read.

5.  Light the fourth candle…. it represents Angels and joy!

6.   Sing a hymn…. may I suggest:  Joy to the World

7.  End in prayer.

Week Activities:

Monday:

Scripture:  Hebrews 1:14, Luke 2:8-14, Romans 6:23

Items:  Angels

Discussion: Do you know what an angel is?  A special messenger or servant.  God’s angels to where ever He sends them.  They bring special messages to people.  What happened with the Shepherds?  What was the message from God?  Why were the angels happy on Christmas night?”

Tuesday:

Scripture:  John 8:12 and Nehemiah 8:10

Activity:  Eating dinner in candle light.  Talk about how Jesus is the light of the world.  Blow out the candles—- that would be the world without Jesus.

Wednesday:

Scripture:  Luke 2:8-12

Items:  Christmas music

Discussion:  What does it mean to rejoice?  What do we feel like doing when we are so excited and happy and rejoicing?  Dancing of course!  After the dinner table is cleared…..everyone go get dressed up!  Throw in the CD and crank up the stereo!  Dance and rejoice!!!  Enjoy your Christmas Boogie!!

Friday:

Scripture:  Matthew 1:18 – 2:12

Activity: Lighting the Christ Candle (The center white Candle)

Discussion:  Christmas Eve is the time when we think about how Christ has changed the world.  Just from the birth of a baby, people around the globe have changed their lives and made Him the center of their lives.  The world changed that holy night.  And when we have received Him in our lives, we are never the same again.  Then read Luke 2:14 and talk about how we can live that verse.

Activity:  Go to a Candle Light Christmas Eve service at your local church.

Saturday:  Christmas Day

Around our house we always celebrate Christmas by opening our gifts.  This year, after the gifts are opened we will have a birthday party just for Jesus!  We will have cake for breakfast!!  While enjoying our cake we will be talking about what Jesus needs from us as a gift to Him.  Is it our service?  Is it to tithe more?  Is it to volunteer?  Is it to tell someone about Him?  Is it to make donations?  Whatever, your family decides to do……make a promise and keep it!

Well, I am going to take off until next Monday!  Enjoy your Christmas!  May God bless your Christmas!

God Bless..

A New Discovery!

A few weeks ago, I wanted to make bread in my bread machine.  I pulled it out and dusted it off!  Feeling terrible that I have neglected it so, I started the hunt for my recipe book that came with the machine.  No luck!  I scoured the bookshelves for hours!  So I found a recipe on the internet…umph.. a flop, a disaster!  I was so sick to my stomach!

So last week, I got the urge for bread.  I made some the old fashioned way and I guess my house is too breezy..the bread didn’t rise.  I was determined to find the book.  I remembered a cabinet in the kitchen where I had put some of Granny’s recipe books.  And there was the book!  I danced the happy dance and we are enjoying fresh baked bread.  YUMMY!

But that isn’t what I am here to share with you… while going through the books, I found a neat couple of booklets.  Check this out..

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Two books on Molasses and recipes to boot!  Grandma’s Molasses book was printed in 1946 and the Brer Rabbit’s must have been around the same time, although I couldn’t find a copyright date anywhere.  Okay, so here’s a sample page from the Brer Rabbit book..

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The milk shake caught my eye and I just had to try it!  You add one tablespoon to a cup of milk and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Mark said, “Sounds disgusting,” when I told him I was going to try it.  My son was a good sport and decided to take a sip.  It wasn’t bad.  It reminded me of eggnog.   Here’s the neat thing.. in the Grandma book,  same recipe appears under the name of “West Indies Milk Shake.” I googled that name and came up empty handed.  Anyway, give it a try.. it is different to say the least.

Enjoy your Tuesday and God bless…

Today I'm Smarter

Today, I woke up smarter.  Last night, I read something intriguing.  It made me think, pray, and marvel at the meaning of the sentence.  As you may have already guessed it… today’s blog is going to be a little deeper than usual..

I finished the book, Oogy, in like a day and a half.  Great story by the way… so now I am reading two pretty deep books simultaneously.  Don’t know if it a result of ADD or insanity.  I read a little of one, let it soak in, read a little of the other one, and so on; so forth.

The book, On Balance, by Adam Phillips caused the revelation with the end result of higher intelligence last night.  Basically, the book discusses the how our quests in life to be balanced is merely subjective to our view, the world’s view and cultural views on the definition of being balanced.  Phillips takes a rather harsh look at today’s excessiveness, authenticity, and mentality posed by society today.  Reminds me of the argument, “What really is normal?”  Deep stuff.. I might add!

What really got me to thinking after the 4th page of this philosophical book was..Now mind you, the author is discussing people’s excessive behaviors in terms of “outrageousness.”  You know those who are excessively unjust, disrespectful, political, religious.. got the picture?  We “normal” peeps see these behaviors and want to do something about it..

Our knee-jerk reaction is often to want to punish them, and often excessively.  And yet people usually punish each other when they don’t know what else to do; which is why punishment is so often beside the point, an excited failure of imagination.

Told you it… deep!

If you haven’t already guessed, I am not your average woman.  I can be excessive in terms of creativity, my lack of punctuality, my relationship with my family, emotionally, nerdyness .. I could go on but I think you get the point.  Many times, people do not know how to handle me nor how to approach me due to one of my many excessive behaviors.  Sadly, though, as an end result (failure of imagination), I am punished by society, friends, family, and figures of authority because, well… they don’t know what else to do.  It isn’t a “time-out” type of punishment but more of  cold shoulders, arguments, and added responsibilities to a job description intended to punish.  And if you can imagine, the punishment only leads to estranged relationships, hurt feelings, and emotional abandonment from all parties involved.

My eyes were opened.  Scouring over past conflicts, I could see I punished and was punished because of a lack of understanding and plainly not knowing what to do.  Perhaps, a quiet non-threatening conversation could have prevented the punishment or maybe, just asking a simple question in a non-intrusive way to find out exactly what needs to be done or said to correct the conflict.  A lot of prayer should have been added to a lot of the punishments created and served on my part.  I believe God would have opened my eyes sooner.

Am I saying that punishment isn’t needed? No, I believe punishment is needed to correct behaviors.  But, the harshness and presentation of the punishment may be needed to be reexamined in terms of excessiveness and the lacking of understanding the underlying problem.  Every situation is different.  And every method to handle a conflict needs to be different as well as performed out of love and respect.

Told you deep… Enjoy your Monday and God bless…

Book Club

Okay, the title is just to catch your attention.. unless it is possible for one person to be the book club…

I’ve been reading a lot this week.  Guess the Christmas spirit has gotten a hold of me!  Mark is sighing right now because he just thought..Regina, you are always reading a lot! I guess my librarian friends are thinking the same thing.  Once a week I am toting an arm load of books home to devour.  Guess you can take the English teacher out to the classroom but not the library!!

Okay, here’s one of my favorite authors:  Jennifer Chiaverini.  I have no idea how to pronounce her name.  I just refer to her as Jennifer Chi.  I’m sure she gets that a lot.  Anyway, my mother-in-law is responsible for getting me hooked on this author.

See back when my 13 yo was just a tot, Mark’s parents were visiting and we took a little trip to Branson.  While we were there I was itching for a quilt.  There are tons of quilt shop in Branson and I was bound and determined to bring one home.  Mark, I think, didn’t see the need for yet another quilt.  I wanted a wedding ring quilt and by golly, I was getting one.  Mark was on the fence post but kept reminding me that there wasn’t any room in the car for something as big as a quilt.  He was right and I was crushed.  But then, I said, “I’ll sit on it.”  So, guess what… I bought the wedding ring quilt and sat on it all the way home.  My mother-in-law loves telling that story.  I could see everything from my seat.. I was at least 5 inches taller than everyone else and was quite comfy!

Well, time passed and I was pregnant with my son and on bed rest… in April and his due date was at the end of August.  Needless to say, I had a lot of time on my hands.  My sweet mother-in-law sent me a box of books about what?????  You guessed it. QUILTS!!  At the time, Jennifer (see I’ve read all 16 in the series and I feel like I know her enough to call her Jennifer.. by the time she has two more published, she will be referred to as Jen.) had two published in her Elm Creek Manor series.

If you love quilts, you will love these books.  They are so informative about quilts and the history behind many of the squares.  Even if you don’t have an interest in quilting, the stories of the women in this quilting world are adorable.  The books are beautifully written and without swearing, blood and gore.  They are simple and wonderful.  Trust me, you’ll like them.  When I read them, my creativity spikes and I love to sew, crochet and think about quilting.. I’m a wannabe!

Okay, so here’s the other book I am almost finished with this week:  Oogy.

This book is by Larry Levin and it is the story of his family dog, Oogy.  Oogy is a pit bull who was at age 4 months thrown to fighting dogs as bait.  Left to die in a cage, police raided the dog fighting operation and rescued him.  This story forced me to my knees to complain to God.  I just don’t understand the cruelty of animals, or people, and I just had to complain.  Oogy’s story reminds me of my two rescues.  Ginger and Fred had horrible lives before living here.  Now, they are blooming and are wonderful companions.  I am reminded of the roosters back in May and the senselessness of the whole ordeal.  My mind wonders how on Earth people can be so cruel.

Then, I read:

“We’re going to take good care of you,” I told him.  “You won’t ever have to worry about anything again.  You won’t ever have to be afraid of anything again.  You will never be hungry or scared again.  That’s my personal promise to you.  Will you trust me on that?…. you’re a good boy.  This didn’t happen because of you.  This does not mean that you are a bad doggy, and undeserving dog.  We love you very much.  You didn’t deserve this.  Nobody does.  this has nothing to do with who you are.  You’re a lovely doggy.  You’ll never be scared again.  No one and nothing will ever hurt you again.”

Can someone pass me a tissue????

I’ve cried, prayed, and cried some more.  And I’m only half way through!!

I’ve said those words to my two as well.  I’ve cried over their past.  My Our love for them has pulled them out of their shells and in return, they trust us.  When animals are hurting, my heart aches.  When they suffer, I suffer.  When they love, I return the love 10 fold.  My whole family does.. sigh…I need to hug my four legged kids right now..

You enjoy your weekend!  God Bless..  “FRED!  GINGER!  I NEED A HUG!”