Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Steph's Favorite Books...Edition 1

I often get asked about my favorite books and authors. Usually when I do I can't remember the exact name or title of the book or I can't remember who wrote it. I thought I would try to get some thoughts out here on the blog so I can just refer folks to it!

I am going to start with Christian fiction since that is my favorite genre to read. Within that realm, I would say my favorite is Biblical fiction. So here are some I love:

1. Magdalene by Angela Hunt

2. Hadassah: One Night with the King by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olson
Story of Esther

3. Chronicles of the Kings Series by Lynn Austin
Follows lives of King Hezekiah and his son Manasseh, these 5 books make this portion of the Old Testament really come to life. The books are Gods and Kings, Song of Redemption, The Strength of His Hand, Faith of My Fathers, Among the Gods

4. The Shadow Women by Angela Hunt
Story of Moses as told by the women in his life--sister, Egyptian mother, and wife

5. The Road Home by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olson
This is a modern retelling of the story of Ruth and Naomi, a little different than most Biblical fiction but excellent!

6. The Lineage of Grace Series by Francine Rivers
Each novella tells about the life of a woman from Jesus' lineage. The books are Unveiled (Tamar), Unashamed (Rahab), Unshaken (Ruth), Unspoken (Bathsheba), and Unafraid (Mary, mother of Jesus).

7. The Centurian's Wife by Davis Bunn and Jeannette Oke
Story of post-resurrection Jerusalem, Pilate is trying to find out what happened to Jesus' body, this is the first in the Acts of Faith Series

8. Legacies of the Ancient River Series by Angela Hunt
Begins with Joseph's life once he is sold into slavery in Egypt, his reunion with his brothers, and his sons. The books are Dreamers, Brothers, and Journey.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In Memory

We remember our loved ones who spend Christmas in Heaven
Angela Christine Harris
September 18, 1979-December 25, 1994
Brian Hamrick
Keith Michael
Our Grandparents
Ann Whittington
Oliver Low
Robert Bass

Remembering Christmas Eve

When I was a child I spent Christmas Eve with my Grandma and Grandaddy Low. We always had a great day. We loved to watch our favorite Christmas musicals--Meet Me in Saint Louis, White Christmas, and Holiday Inn. They lived out in the country and many of the neighbors would stop by and bring goodies as gifts. Grandaddy always put blinking lights on his tree, and I loved watching them. He took such care of all his Christmas ornaments and decorations. He had the original box for most of them, and he and Grandma could remember where each one came from. I am proud to have some of those ornaments on my tree.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Best Gift on Earth

I have lots of wonderful Christmas memories thanks to my great parents and family. Unfortunately there was also one very dark one, in 1994 when my friend Angie died. For awhile I was afraid that would always be the first thing I thought of whenever I saw anything that reminded me of the season. I have to admit, I still do think of it a lot, but it's not my most prominent Christmas memory. That is reserved for Christmas, 1998.

This was the year of the big ice storm on Christmas Eve. Our power was out. After our usual Christmas morning happenings, my mom kept pestering me to go over to her friend Fanny's house (she was lucky enough to have power) to take a shower and fix my hair. I was busy visiting with family and enjoying my new gifts, so I really didn't want to. But she bugged me enough that I finally went. I'm glad she did!

I returned home and a little while later Rick came over so we could exchange our gifts. I was so excited to give him his gift. I had saved my money up to purchase a nice golf bag for him (keep in mind I was a junior in college so this was a lot of money for me!). He opened it and said a quick thanks, then wanted me to open mine. Well, I was quite miffed at the moment because I had given him this expensive (for me, anyway) gift and he didn't seem interested.

Finally I took my gift and opened it. It was a square box. Inside was a silver egg-shaped thing that I thought was a bell. I told him it was pretty and said how nice it was since I collected bells. He said to open the "bell" and I did. Before I could register what was happening he was on his knee and I could see a sparkling diamond ring inside the box. He asked me to marry him and as you know, I said yes! My whole family was in there while this was going on. It was crazy, and I have never been so shocked in my life. We had talked about getting married in a few years but I thought it would at least be summer before he proposed. He wanted to do it earlier so I would be surprised, and it worked! I'm glad my mom knew so I didn't have bedhead for this important moment in my life!

Rick, you have given me the best gift I could possibly get here on Earth. And even though the diamond is gorgeous, I'm really talking about having you as my husband. Other than the gift of Christ himself, there is nothing more precious to me than your love and knowing that you are always there for me. I'm so very thankful for the almost 10 years of marriage we have shared and look forward to many, many more years. I think back to Christmas, 1998 and, in the words of Brad Paisley, "and I thought I loved you then".

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Favorite Christmas Books for Kids

1. Christmas Is by Gail Gibbons
I love this one because the very first thing the author says is Christmas is...the Christ Child. She goes into some of the other Christmas symbols/traditions, but the focus always goes back to Jesus (as it should!).

2. God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Sweet story of a mother bear explaining the meaning of Christmas to her little cub.

3. This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten
A sweet, simple book about Jesus' book with lots of repetitious phrases.

4. That's Not My Reindeer--and Usborne Touchy Feely Book
A board book that Andrew loves!

5. The Night Before Christmas--what Christmas book list is complete without this one!
We particularly like Jan Brett's version.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Top Ten on My Ipod--Christmas Edition

1. Jesus Saves by Travis Cottrell
2. O Come, All Ye Faithful by Alan Jackson
3. Kay Thompson's Jingle Bells by Michael W. Smith (the kids' absolute favorite)
4. Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground) by Chris Tomlin
5. Silver and Gold by Burl Ives (from Rudolph)
6. White Christmas by Bing Crosby
7. All is Well by Point of Grace
8. Hark the Herald Angels Sing by Travis Cottrell
9. The Christmas Song by Michael Buble
10. Let it be Christmas by Alan Jackson

Friday, December 11, 2009

18 month check-up

Andrew weighs 30 lbs 9 1/2 oz (95th percentile) and is 32 3/4 inches tall (75th percentile). At Abby's 18 month check-up, she weighed 24 lbs and was 32 inches tall. Dr. Mapp is watching his toe-walking, but said everything else was great!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Away in a Manger

I have just one thing to say. She gets her singing ability from her Uncle Stephen. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Seeing Santa

Abby had a great time at the Children's Museum seeing the Legendary Santa. Andrew enjoyed seeing the Christmas trees and running around. He was not thrilled about Santa.
Enjoy the video, pictures to come!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Up On The Housetop, Whittington style, 2009 version

I got so many comments about this post, I thought I'd do a 2009 version!

Up on the housetop, reindeer pause
Out jumps good ol' Santa Claus
Down through the chimney with lots of toys
All for the little ones, Christmas joys!

Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick

First comes the stocking for Abby
the most precious girl you'll ever see
she'd like Cinderella and her horse
a high chair for who? Hippy, of course!

Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick

Second the stocking of our sweet boy
trucks are his favorite kind of toy
a megablock table will make his day
a boom box for his room that will really play

Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick

Next comes the stocking for our dear dad
he is never, ever bad
gear for cycling is what he'd like
lucky for you he already has the bike!

Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick

Last comes the stocking for Stephanie
new earrings would be so pretty
perfume to make her smell real sweet
gift cards for shopping are a treat

Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick