Friday, December 31, 2010

Last day of the year!

It's the last day of 2010 and although the sun is shining brightly it is cold! Last time I checked at 7:30 AM it was 33 degrees! So I decided that the best way to keep warm this morning (aside from throwing a log into the fireplace) was to bake something. The quickest and easiest was a batch of cornbread...yum! I also pulled out my brand new espresso maker that G&J gave me for Christmas. If you have never tasted Illy coffee then you are missing out! By the time I figured out how to run the machine the cornbread was ready. I served it with some of my pomegranate jelly and voila my last breakfast of the year was ready to go! It looked so pretty I took a picture of it to share it with you.
Yesterday I did a short little hike up to Skyline Drive in Fullerton to see the view. The last rain we had made for quite a bit of snow up in the mountains. Here is a view of the surrounding mountains. Doesn't really look like southern California does it?

Today I am trying to finish organizing all my filing. I have to admit this is one of my weaknesses. I am not good at keeping up with it all so it stacks up all year. Anyone have any ideas to keep this paper monster from taking over your desk? I think the fist thing I should do is invest in a good shredder!I better go and tackle the stacks and enjoy the rest of this beautiful day.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Enjoying A Busy Season!

Twelve days left until Christmas and boy has it been busy! I think I had something going on about everyday last week. In the midst of it all though, I am trying to be more mindful to take little moments to think about what we are really celebrating at this time of year. So here is a little run down of the past week or so...

Cookies! The week began with Christmas Chapel on Monday morning. What a blessing it is to be able to work at a place where we can take off an hour and go hear the wonderful message and music of the season! The following day was the annual cookie exchange at work. This year I made Pioneer Woman's Christmas Cherries and Martha's Rosemary Butter Cookies. Both turned out really yummy! About 10 ladies participated and I went home with a great assortment of cookies to mail off to the troops!
On Wednesday Biola held it's employee Christmas lunch. This year was a little more scaled down that in the past but it was good food and good fellowship time for us all as we all gathered in the gym. The president sang a funny rendition of "My Favorite Things" which I'm sure you can find on YouTube =)
Thursday I had lunch with the ladies from my Grace Group. It was a beautiful day outdoors and we had a nice time talking and watching their little Clara, Lena and Penny play by the fountain.

Friday (I told you this had been a busy week!) was our office Christmas lunch & party. Instead of potluck this year we had it catered which relieved stress for everyone. The food was great and we had a fun time together playing "Pin the Red Nose on Rudolph" and playing "Christmas Pictionary" on the white board.
That evening I babysat the two little Clarks (Kate & Savannah) so Mommy & Daddy could have an evening out. They are so cute!
More food!
Saturday after a lazy morning in my pj's it was time to get ready for my Grace Group Christmas party. I took PW's yummy Green Bean Casserole for the potluck. We had a ham dinner with all the delicious sides and dessert to go with it. For the gift exchange we had to bring something from our house we didn't want anymore. I found a 500 piece puzzle someone had given me a few years ago and happily passed it along to a new owner =) I ended up with a whiteboard calendar organizer... yay for getting organized this coming year!Church!
Sunday mornings in December have been great as we focus on the reason why Jesus came. Last week Erik preached and this week Dave continued the theme. What a blessing to hear them preach passionately from the Word! You can always find the messages online here if you want to take a listen. After the service I headed over to get my Christmas tree. Yes, it did seem a bit strange to be standing in line in 84 degree weather buying a tree, but I'm not complaining! I love warm, sunny weather! By the time it was time to go to the Christmas concert in the evening I had it all up and decorated. I love Christmas!

The Christmas concert at Grace was wonderful. We are so blessed to have amazing worship leaders, song writers and musicians who give us a beautiful gift each year. This year was no different. I left the evening feeling thankful and blessed to be a part of it all.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

"Yet what I can give Him: give my heart"

I woke up this morning humming this carol. I didn't really know all the lyrics so I looked them up. They were written by Christina Rossetti and are quite beautiful.

In the Bleak Mid-Winter

In the bleak midwinter,
frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
water like a stone;
Snow had fallen,
snow on snow,snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him,
nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter
a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels
may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
thronged the air;
But His mother only,
in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him,
poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man,
I would do my part;
Yet what I can give Him: give my heart.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Preparing my heart to celebrate Christmas

This year as we begin the final countdown of the days before Christmas I have been thinking about some of the old carols and the message of hope and the true meaning of Christmas that a lot of them contain. As I was editing some of the photos I took last month I came across this one that I took at Versailles. It reminded me of this carol that is not sung very often.

The Holly and the Ivy.
The holly and the ivy, When they are both full grown,

Of all trees that are in the wood, The holly bears the crown:

O, the rising of the sun, And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ, Sweet singing in the choir.

The holly bears a blossom, As white as lily flow'r,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ, To be our dear Saviour: Refrain

The holly bears a berry, As red as any blood,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ, To do poor sinners good: Refrain

The holly bears a prickle, As sharp as any thorn,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ, On Christmas Day in the morn: Refrain

The holly bears a bark, As bitter as the gall,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ, For to redeem us all: Refrain

The holly and the ivy, When they are both full grown,
Of all trees that are in the wood, The holly bears the crown: Refrain

(Click on the title above to listen to the tune.)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Thirteen years ago today...

A few days ago as I was in my office cleaning out a desk drawer I came across an old employee newsletter I had saved. What were you doing on Monday, December 1, 1997? I was starting my first day of work as a Data Entry Clerk at the Registrar's Office. It seems like a million year ago and then again it seems like only yesterday. It has been an interesting thirteen years going through the Y2K scare, transitioning to new online registrations methods, new software, new job positions, and then in the last two years to a new ERP system. I have made some lifelong friends and been through some good times and some rough times. I am truly blessed be part of this great office family!