Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Kannels! Have a blessed holiday!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thankful "Thursday," Take 60

Thanking God this week for...
  • gospel quotes in my inbox every morning
  • last weekend's trip to Memphis to see dear friends and family
  • cloth diapers
  • Elijah's first cold being very mild
  • sleepless nights being the exception, not the rule
  • the anticipation of a big date with my hubby tomorrow--going to see Messiah!
  • freezers
  • new jeans that fit
  • getting to go home a little earlier than planned
  • the liberating truth of this statement: "God loves me and with His power, I can change!"

Monday, December 17, 2007

Four Months Old

Realized it's been a while since I've posted a new picture of the little guy...so here's an Elijah fix to start off your week :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thankful Thursday, Take 59

Thanking God this week for...

  • online shopping
  • a patient husband
  • good days to balance out the not-so-good ones
  • His Word
  • old friends getting in touch
  • the privilege of comforting and encouraging others with the comfort I have received
  • clean drinking water
  • not having to wonder how we're going to pay our bills
  • ponytail holders
  • a soft mattress
  • drawing me to Himself
  • the wonder of the Incarnation

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Is There a Hyphen in Anal-Retentive?*

Oh my. I have just discovered snarky grammar blogs. How did I not know these existed? Thanks to Carolyn McCulley for opening my eyes. Much enjoyment to be had from just these two:

Apostrophe Abuse (my personal pet peeve--the visual equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard)

even funnier: The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

Aaaand, each of these has several sidebar links to other grammar blogs. Dangerous. It is always fun to discover and commiserate with other anal-retentive grammar nerds.

*The title is not original. I heard it from a fellow word nerd who has a shirt with this saying. I found it hilarious :)

On the Bright Side

My car wouldn't start yesterday. I was out of town with Elijah for some Christmas shopping and his four-month well-baby checkup (he's doing great--can you believe he's four months old?!); after our second stop, we got back in the car and the engine wouldn't even turn over. Yet in spite of the inconvenience it was not at all a ruined day.

~I am thankful that a nice woman in the parking lot at JoAnn noticed I was having problems and offered to jump-start my car (and that it worked).

~I'm thankful that of all the days for this to happen, it was yesterday, when it was 75 degrees and sunny.

~I'm thankful that Elijah was in a great mood yesterday and didn't spend the time sitting in his carseat screaming.

~I'm thankful that the pediatrician is walking distance from the mall--so I was able to park at the mall, walk to his appointment, walk back and do some shopping before getting my car jumped again and going home.

~I'm thankful for my Moby Wrap, so I could wear him while doing all this and not have to lug a huge, awkward carseat around.

~I'm thankful I had a good excuse/motivation to get some fresh air and exercise!

~I'm thankful that we made it safely home.

Most of all, I'm thankful that God gave me eyes to see all these blessings at the time, not just looking back. He enabled me to be thankful in the moment, rather than getting frustrated and angry and bitter. It was only by His grace that I was able to make the best of the situation and choose to see the bright side!

And I'm thankful for a handy husband who was able to diagnose and fix the problem himself...and that the car is now running again :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Thankful "Thursday," Take 58

Thanking God this week for...
  • mercies new every morning
  • His sovereignty
  • protecting my husband, in many ways
  • my adorable son
  • Christmas hymns
  • Christmas lights
  • Christmas trees
  • a new keyboard with the letters not worn off--makes one-handed typing, when necessary, much easier
  • banana bread with chocolate glaze (the only way to eat banana bread, IMHO)
  • Christmas cards starting to arrive in the mail
  • finding out that we can board Hank over Christmas for FREE at the place where we adopted him!
  • John Piper's advent poems
  • index cards
  • electric blankets
  • cinnamon-scented pinecones
  • the trustworthiness of His Word
  • His immutability

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Babywearing Gear Contest

Along for the Ride is having another contest! This one is huge--a $250 shopping spree for the winner, plus $400 in runner-up prizes. Enter to win here. (I bought my Moby Wrap from this store and the customer service is great!)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Advent Begins

Steve and I have a particularly busy December--as I'm sure many of you do--and in talking last week about all the Christmas events on our schedule, we wondered how we could be sure to keep our focus in the right place. We want to look to our Savior and His Incarnation during this season of anticipation, not get so caught up in the shopping and decorating and baking and parties that we lose sight of why we celebrate.

I'm curious to hear if and how any of you celebrate Advent. Do you have any family traditions that help you look to Jesus in the weeks leading up to Christmas?

In my online search for Advent materials, I found that John Piper (I'm sorry this is becoming an all-Piper, all-the-time blog...bear with me :) has a tradition of writing Advent poems for his church. He explains:

For 25 years one of my joys has been to write and read an advent poem each Sunday of Advent for the people of Bethlehem. The poems aim to speak truth about God and his ways with man, but they are imaginative reconstructions behind figures of the Bible of what may have been, but probably was not. Historically, my aim is not to create anything that could not have been or that in any way contradicts what the Bible says.

I write them because the effort to say things differently helps me see things more deeply and love God more deeply. And I hope they help you in that same way.

This year he writes about Nicodemus; the first poem in the series was published today. I've attempted to write poetry in strict meter and rhyme only enough to know that it's very, very difficult to do well. Piper has a gift for it. I've read several of his poems, and his poetry, nearly always written in iambic tetrameter, is (in my opinion) very, very good. This long narrative poem about Nicodemus whets my appetite for more--both the Nicodemus poems to come, and the extensive archives of past Advent poems available on the website. As with the sermons, listening is even better than reading.

Leave a comment below with any Advent ideas you want to pass along!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Surfin' Saturday: Long Distance Photo Sharing

For those of you with family or friends far away--let me pass along a photo-sharing recommendation. We're using Hello, a free download from Google/Picasa. (Does Google own the world? Oh, how I wish I would have invested in their stock about five years or so ago...) It enables me to send pictures to my mom and they pop up on her screen immediately if she's logged in. Much better than huge, time-consuming email attachments. And then, she has hi-res versions automatically saved on her computer so she can print them if she wants to. (Ha..."if she wants to"...not that she has a grandma brag book she carries with her at all times or anything :)

Not only that, but Hello has instant messaging, so if we're on the computer at the same time, we can comment back and forth about pictures (I can even see which one she's looking at). Bonus: It's integrated with Picasa, a helpful (and also free) photo organizing/editing program, making viewing/tweaking/sharing your pics even easier.

I highly recommend Hello for those of you with kids and parents/in-laws who live far away! (And if you sign up, add me as a friend--it's "schmamy," of course.)