Monday, December 28, 2009

Bowl Game Schedule 2009

The Bowl Schedule, in case any of you were wondering and wanting a quick link to a schedule of the AWESOME college football games coming up, look no further. I put astrix by the games that are my priorities.

*Monday 12/28 Independence Bowl Texas A&M v. Georgia (5pm) ESPN*

Tuesday 12/29 EagleBank Bowl Temple v. UCLA (4:30pm) ESPN
*Tuesday 12/29 Champs Sports Bowl Miami v. Wisconsin (8pm) ESPN*

Wednesday 12/30 Humanitarian Bowl Bowling Green v. Idaho (4:30pm) ESPN
Wednesday 12/30 Holiday Bowl Nebraska v. Arizona (8:00pm) ESPN

Thursday 12/31 Sun Bowl Stanford v. Oklahoma (12:00pm) CBS
Thursday 12/31 Armed Forces Bowl Air Force v. Houston (12:00pm) ESPN
Thursday 12/31 Texas Bowl Missouri v. Navy (3:30pm) ESPN
*Thursday 12/31 Insight Bown Minnesota v. Iowa State (6:00pm) NFL*
*Thursday 12/31 Chick-Fil-A Bowl Virginia Tech v. Tennessee (7:30) ESPN*

*Friday 1/1 Outback Bowl Northwestern v. Auburn (11:00am) ESPN*
*Friday 1/1 Capital One Bowl Penn State v. LSU (1:00pm) ABC*
*Friday 1/1 Gator Bowl Florida State v. West Virginia (1:00pm) CBS*
*Friday 1/1 Rose Bowl Ohio State v. Oregon (5:00pm) ABC*
*Friday 1/1 Sugar Bowl Florida v. Cincinnati (8:30pm) FOX*

Saturday 1/2 International Bowl South Florida v. Northern Illinois (????) ESPN2
Saturday 1/2 Cotton Bowl Oklahoma State v. Mississippi (2:00pm) FOX
Saturday 1/2 Bowl Connecticut v. South Carolina (2:00pm) ESPN
Saturday 1/2 Liberty Bowl East Carolina v. Arkansas (5:30pm) ESPN
*Saturday 1/2 Alamo Bowl Michigan State v. Texas Tech (9:00pm) ESPN*

*Monday 1/4 Fiesta Bowl Boise State v. TCU (8:00pm) FOX*

*Tuesday 1/5 Orange Bowl Iowa v. Georgia Tech (8:00pm) FOX*

Wednesday 1/6 GMAC Bowl Central Michigan v. Troy (7:00pm) ESPN

*Thursday 1/7 BCS National Championship Alabama v. Texas (8:00pm) ABC*

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all! Peace on Earth! Good will from God to Men!

Picture credit Heart Stirred Designs.
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday: December 24th

Christmas Eve!

I LOVE Christmas Eve!
  1. I am thankful to be with my parents on this Christmas Eve.
  2. I am thankful to be with my parents in MICHIGAN this Christmas Eve. I am laid out on my stomach on our family room floor, propped up on my elbows typing... because as anyone who grew up in this home knows, we have hot-water heat and the floor is the warmest thing in the house all winter. :)
  3. I am thankful for the old friends I've been blessed to visit in the past two days - and not young friends from high school - good, old, wise family friends who I cannot see most of the year. This picture was taken last Christmas - the man in the picture went to be with the Lord last February, but it was so wonderful to see his wife this morning for coffee.
  4. I am thankful for a Christmas with my parents. My parents and I treasure these Christmases when we are together - just the three of us. We know there will be Christmases when it won't just be the three of us, or it won't be in my childhood home. In fact, we are ready to share Christmas. For years my parents were not ready to share me with anyone (a future son-in-law). But now, I think we are all ready. Who knows what the Lord will do this year... but we are especially cherishing this Christmas. We especially cherish every Christmas together. I am thankful for this perspective!
  5. I am thankful for Christmas memories and thankful for Christmas dreams!
  6. I am thankful that an old friend of our family went to be with the Lord a few days ago. This woman was a good friend of my grandmother's and she KNEW the Lord. Her husband died about 20 years ago, and her son died sometime before then. Through everything, she always trusted the Lord, served where she could and bloomed where she was planted. What a HOMECOMING for her in heaven! Praise God that this wonderful woman will celebrate Christmas with her husband and son at the beautiful feet of Jesus!
For more Thankful Thursday, visit Truth 4 The Journey.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Word-Filled Wednesday: Proverbs 22:6

Proverbs 22:6

Train a child in the way she should go and when she is old, she will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6

For more Word-Filled Wednesday this week of Christmas, visit Susan.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I know that purr.

I know that purr.

It's the purr I hear in the morning when Lexie jumps in my arms and then climbs up toward my shoulder so her paws rest on my shoulder and her head and nose are right next to my neck.

It's the purr when my alarm goes off and I crawl back into my bed in the morning for a quick snooze before I really have to get up. It's the purr when she curls up near my feet or behind my knees (if I'm on my side) or right beside my stomach.

It's the look in her eyes when she sits by the door in the mornings. I fly around the kitchen making coffee and packing my lunch but the look is in her eyes as she watches me.

It's in her MEOW when I get home in the evenings. As she sits in the windowsill at the same time every day, and then she sees me. Her world comes into focus. She stands up. She meows at the window. She begins pacing the windowsill and keeps meowing. When I finally walk through the door, she is like a magnet around my ankles until I pick her up and hear the same purr, which started my day.

The look in her eyes. The sound in her purr. The softness in her nuzzling. The sound in her meow. Complete contentment. Her world is complete because I am with her.

Contentment when I am there, but at the same time, a petition:

You are enough for me. I love you more than anything. Why won't you stay here with me? Why am I not enough for you?

I know that purr. I know that question.

I'm re-reading Captivating for the second time. The last time I read it was the summer of 2006... I guess over the course of three and a half years, some wounds contort or mutate or resurface.

I just finished the chapter that women are haunted by a question, an emptiness. The results of this fear and haunting are two types of women - the domineering woman and the desolate woman -- or more likely an awkward combination of both.

My perfect kitten purrs at me in the morning, and I'm on the verge of tears because I'm asking the same question of my Lord... about a human... an unknown human:

When will a man, THE man, my husband come into my life? When will he reveal himself to me? When will I, like my cat, start my day in the arms of one who loves me? When will he stay with me? When will I be enough for him? When will I be his priority on earth? While my cat's dreams are a reality and she wishes I were here more hours each day, when will my dreams be a reality... that I will wish for more hours with my love and not for the existence of him?

I am experiencing the fruit of my most recent romantic relationship. Fruit does not lie. The Bible says that fruit does not lie.

"By their fruit you will recognize them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them." Matthew 7:16-20

From the fruit, I will know what to do. The fruit will reveal the way. The fruit does not lie.

I'm sorry for the ambiguity of this post - but I believe its pretty accurate. Ambiguity of the post; ambiguity of the life.

But God is good. God is so good.
And I hate that He only lets us live one day at a time.
But He is so good... and I can only live and learn one day at a time.

I know that purr... my heart is crying out but there are no words. There are sounds - and when I hear Lexie purr, I recognize the sound. I know that purr.

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Tastes and Smells of Christmas

For me, the tastes and smells of Christmas are not scents of the season but of Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.

On Christmas Eve my family always cooks French Onion Soup for dinner. We even have official French Onion Soup bowls because of our tradition. We only have French Onion Soup on Christmas Eve -- but we ALWAYS have French Onion Soup on Christmas Eve. We either have our soup before the Christmas Eve service, or occasionally after church, if we go to an early service. Either way, French Onion Soup is a smell and taste of Christmas Eve.
The scent of Christmas Day is a fire in the fireplace. We have a wood-burning fireplace and Christmas day is one of the few days of the year that we have a fire as soon as we awaken. All other days of the year, a fire is an evening event (unless maybe we've had a power outage and we're without heat). Christmas is the one day of the year when our fire blazes and crackles as early as 8am.
For more tastes and smells of Christmas, visit
The Joyeful Journey.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Randomness: Movies with a dose of reality

For Friday Randomness today, the question is about Christmas movies and what fun movie traditions really say Christmas at my household...

Not to be a Scrooge or a realist, but honestly, movies mean nothing to me right now.

That's not to say I don't enjoy a great Christmas movie each year, please know, I do.
But seriously, it doesn't matter what movie I'm watching, it matters who I'm with. And I'm pretty emphatic about that at the moment because the people I love are elsewhere and I'm not in the mood for Christmas movies without them.

At this time in my life, these people are my parents, and I miss them like crazy. Their presence make a movie enjoyable for me. On that note, I will share a few of their favorite Christmas movies:

My dad LOVES White Christmas. He is a doctor and so his favorite scene is when
Danny Kay pretended to fall down the stairs and break his leg. The character says lines like, "It's probably just a small compound fracture," and "...small internal muscular hemorrhage." My dad laughs SO hard. I enjoy hearing my dad laugh more than I enjoy any movie.

Another Sanden favorite Christmas movie is "It's A Wonderful Life." My parents and I watch it together each year, but a few years ago, we watched it with my brother. He said the Mr. Gower line, "Do you think I pay you to be a canary?" right before Mr. Gower said it and he had his mouth all contorted like Mr. Gower's is. It was SO funny and now we think of my brother saying that line every time we watch the movie.

All that to say, for me Christmas is made by my parents, not by the movies.

For more Christmas movies, visit Andrea.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sounds of Christmas

The sound of my Christmas is music from the harp. Not just any harp, not a harp, but the harp. My harp. I love my harp at Christmas time.

I cannot NOT play my harp at Christmas time - something about that time of year, my fingers just start to ITCH.
I love harmony in all music.

My years of choir and then attending GREAT music churches in Nashville have helped me be comfortable adding my own harmony to most any song I'm singing - whether on the radio, in church, in small worship, or to seasonal music. But the thing about singing is I can only sing one note at a time. I can add rich harmony to a melody, but all I sing is the harmony - the melody has to be provide
d from elsewhere. When I play the harp, I PRODUCE the melody, the harmony, the base line, the arpeggios, the chords... it is a beautiful expression.

Specifically, I love playing "O Holy Night" on my harp. Those tones are so poignant and I can add my own musical expression to the melody and harmony while the beautiful and reverent words echo in my head.

Have you ever thought about some of these words? "The weary world rejoices..." The world is not expectant, not excited, not joyful, not faithful - the world is weary!

The joy I feel about the birth of my Savior does not just magically erase my weariness this time of year... but I rejoice!

I have a video of my playing "O Holy Night" that I recorded on my computer last Christmas to send to my aunt, but I don't know how to upload a video to the blog. If you feel so inclined to leave me instructions in my comments, I'll take a stab at it when I get home this evening.

I hope, despite any weariness, you are rejoicing this Christmas season day.

For more Sounds of Christmas, visit Joye.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Caffeinated Randomness: Ornaments!

I love ornaments. I love decorating my tree each year. My ornament box consists of ornaments that are mine, which I took from my parents house when I had my first tree.

I love going through each ornament and remembering where it came from. I hold it up in front of me and then look at the tree and try to decide where it will look best. I look at the branches and the lights and decide where it will hang best or sparkle...

The ornament to t
he left was a present from my harp teacher and its one of my favorites. A candy harp! It combines several of my favorite things - candy, music, the harp, something cute, and an ornament!

To the right is another cute
ornament from my harp teacher - Santa playing the harp. I think this ornament is fun, but my harp teacher just LOVED it. She went on and on about Santa playing the harp and how in all her years she had only seen this one Santa playing the harp. She used to have whole trees full of harp ornaments and over the years she passed quite a few on to me.

Below is an ornament one of my good friends gave me last year, a Frog Prince
. The friend who gave me this ornament, Obinna, is like a brother. He has heard a few of the corners of my heart and began to understand the frustrating process of being a woman longing for her husband... without a husband. This ornament makes me think of Obinna, it makes me laugh, and it makes me hope that someday my Prince will not be a frog. I like the light behind him, but if you can't quite see, he is holding a heart that says "Kiss Me."

Lastly, I wanted to share a beautiful angel ornament I
received from my first music teacher. The woman who let me sing in her choir beginning in kindergarten (even though the youngest singers were supposed to be in first grade). She taught me to read music and sing in a choir. When I was older, she encouraged me to play my harp in church at EVERY opportunity. Later, she taught me that music had to come from my heart if it was going to mean anything. She taught me that music is more than notes on a page... she taught me many things. She died three years ago. This angel reminds me of her.

For more Caffeinated Randomness Ornament Sharing, visit Andrea.
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Thankful Thursday

  1. I am thankful that one of my students had a "forever family" for the first time in her life. Read this post for a more detailed account of this thanksgiving.
  2. I am thankful for a great day in preschool today. It was a day with SOOOO many students but they were playing SOOO well together. They made a big home out of waffle blocks and they had a "party." It was such a pleasure to play with them today.
  3. I am thankful that this evening I will have a chance to do a little decorating and Christmas card work. I've had meetings the past two evenings, and I have a meeting later tonight, but I'm hoping for a few hours after school for a Christmas movie and seasonal activities.
  4. I am thankful that I live in a place that is SUPPOSED to get snow... and I am hopeful that some is on its way!
  5. As I'm thinking about things, I find myself wanting to say that I am excited for tomorrow or I am excited for the weekend... but really, I only have today. I can anticipate tomorrow, but I only have today. I am thankful for today!
For more Thankful Thursday visit Truth 4 Today.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Word-Filled Wednesday: Luke 1:45

Luke 1:45

Blessed is she
who has believed
that what the Lord has said to her
will be accomplished!

God is WITH US! Emmanuel!

For more Word-Filled Wednesday visit here.

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Praise God - "Ellie" has a forever family!

I got word today that "Ellie" has a forever family!

I wrote before Thanksgiving that "Ellie" is a little girl, a foster child who attends my preschool and who was about to get an adoptive family; at the age of five-and-a-half, this will be her first "forever family."

In the preschool we would have been THRILLED for her no matter who the county chose... but we certainly had our opinion of which family was best.

It was hard over Thanksgiving week and weekend to know that this HUGE decision was being decided about the future of one of our five-year-olds and there was nothing we, as teachers, could do. The helplessness was a great opportunity to talk to my staff (and Ellie's foster mom) about prayer... but really I felt very helpless.

Today we got word which family will become Ellie's forever family. It is the family we want to see her with. The family we think is best for her.

Ellie knows this husband and wife. She has spent time with this husband and wife. This husband and wife, Ellie's new mother and father were never able to have their own children and I am in tears for this mom and dad who will FINALLY have their OWN little girl! They will be Ellie's Mom and Dad! Ellie has been perfectly created to join their household and be their "forever daughter."

Thank you for all your prayers for Ellie and her placement. Some of you have shared with me that you are in the process of adopting into your own family... the perspectives you have shared with me is what makes me all the more joyful for this family. This husband and wife who have wanted for so long to be a mother and father. A husband and wife who love this little girl SOOOO much. This husband and wife who will now be a mother and father by Christmas!

Praise God!

Since "Ellie" is a foster child, I am not able to share a picture, but I tried to find a picture of a loving family. Forever Mommy, Forever Daddy, Forever Daughter! PRAISE GOD!

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Caffeinated Randomness: From Tuesday/Friday

I don't seem to have the instantaneous Christmas joy as the other writers today. I think this is due to several factors, but I trust at least some of my usual seasonal excitement will arrive in time.

Tuesday was like my Friday because it was my last day of work for the week.

I commuted from Vail to Eagle for work because I have been staying with my parents in Vail since they arrived to spend as much time with them as possible on this trip.

This means that I had a 30 mile commute to work instead of a 3 mile commute to work and within the 30 miles is a Starbucks. :)

I decided Tuesday (my version of Friday) would be the perfect day for my first Christmas Favorite Starbucks drink of the season -- Peppermint Mocha (nonfat, no-whip).

Since I was at Starbucks in a happy mood on a Tuesday (that felt like Friday), I went ahead and bought a seasonal coffee drink for each of my employees. :) That cost added up, but I was expecting it, and again... feeling festive and charitable.

Well, this was also the day of the K-LOVE Hope For the Hungry drive and I was listening to the morning show the whole 30 miles. A $2.00 donation feeds one person for a holiday meal... and here I just purchased 5 holiday drinks from Starbucks (for more than $2.00 a drink)... and so I figured I could donate AT LEAST the amount I spent on festive drinks to a Rescue Mission in Grand Junction, CO through the K-LOVE drive.

I have felt very inspired by Amy's writing at Filled With Joy about giving what I can. I am excited to enter a Christmas season with this mindset.

For more Christmas Caffeinated Randomness, visit Andrea.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Mighty To Save!

On this Thankful Thursday, Happy Thanksgiving!

Before I write my Thanksgiving post, PLEASE PRAY F
OR "ELLIE". She is one of my students and the county is in the process of finding a permanent adoption home for her. PLEASE PRAY that she will be placed in the PERFECT home, which God is preparing for his beautiful child.

Today I am very
thankful for many things, but I want to focus on one theme:

1. I am thankful my God is Might To Save! He promises He is Mighty To Save.

2. I am thankful for the Word. I am thankful that the Word is Truth. I am thankful that I own a Bible. I own SEVERAL Bibles. For thoughts about the abundance of Bibles in our country, read What is Lost Living In Abundance?

3. I am thankful for where I live. I don't think you have really experienced the full blessing of the song, "Mighty To Save" until you have sung this song in the mountains. When you hear a room full of Christ-followers singing the words, "Savior, He can move the mountains..." it is amazing. We live in the mountains. We have learned to live among the mountains and RESPECT the majesty of the mountains. When we travel, we are prepared because the mountains can be ferocious. They house wild animals and hide dangerous storms. But when we sing that our Savior can MOVE the mountains... we have a deep understanding of what we are claiming. I am thankful I live here.

4. I am thankful for songs that declare the glory, goodness and promises of my God. Of GOD. He is not just my God... He IS God. I drove from Vail to Eagle back to Vail yesterday (30 miles and 2000+ vertical feet) and I sang how my God is mighty to save and He does move the mountains.

5. Lastly, I am thankful my God moves in the lives of His children and communicates with them.

Paul is coming to Vail for Thanksgiving with my parents even though I've told him not to come. He recognizes that time is not on the side of our relationship and he feels it is in our best interest as a couple to spend these holiday days together.

Your prayers are appreciated as I predict we have several intense and emotional days ahead.

Above all, we both want the Will of God.
We also want our hearts protected.

Our Father is Great and Mighty. He will move these days. I just don't know which direction He will move.

Thank you for your prayers.

For more Thankful Thursday on this beautiful Thanksgiving, visit Truth 4 Today.

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Word-Filled Wednesday: James 1:2-4

James 1:2-4

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work,
that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking nothing."

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