I always go back--and this year it's back to my old blog---and read the year end postings to see what I said and what I promised.  This year's annual December 31st post is on the new blog---in the hopefully soon to be new city.  I have found myself pensive and a little blue today---but I blame that on seasonal light deprivation and no exercise to create those happy endorphins---and then I look at the blessings that I have been showered with.  I am blessed!

It has been extremely difficult to start anew---not think of the past---and hope for what will not be.  The hours I have wasted trying to figure out just what is wrong with me---are just that --wasted time.  There is nothing really wrong with me---for I am created in His image.  The one who is more beautiful than all the wonders combined---who is more lovely than the softest breeze---who is more eternal than the waves sweeping the beach---who is more timeless than then moon and stars in the sky.  He created me and declared that He had plans for me.  Plans to use me for His great glory.  What greater destiny than knowing He loves me and desires to be in my presence every second of every day. 

So when Camille asked me what my resolutions were---I told her I had none--I only have my life verse to declare today as my hope for 2013--

"And what does God require of man?---to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God."  Micha 6:8   My 2013 promise is to strive with my whole being to fulfill these words.

SO   Happy New Year Dear Friends!  

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, 
and give you peace. 


I am convinced there is another family living in the attic at the Jennings abode!  At least a family of 3--maybe more--that I never see---but they are the only good explanation for the mountains of laundry around this place!

I spent the day---AGAIN---doing the laundry---it totally amazes me---I wash, dry, fold and put away several loads a day and when I go to bed---ALL is clean---all is stored in its proper place.  AND THEN the next morning---there is another mountain!

Why there is NO way that a tiny baby, 2 small toddlers and 3 adults who barely have time to change clothes could be dirting all these clothes.  THERE MUST be others contributing to the cause!

Off to bed---I sleep better under the delusion that everything is clean and put away!


Quite by accident I have stumbled upon the phenomena of the day--at least! It seems that the coat I wore today and the shirt I donned BOTH have this marvelous magnetic quality about them---that I never realized before!  It seems that any bodily fluid from anyone 3 and younger are magnetically attracted to the material!  It's really and truly amazing!

Your nose needs wiping---well the top of the arm works really well---your tears need drying--the shoulder is quite absorbent----you need to spit up after Mommie fills you over the bream---any where down the front OR even over the shoulder and down the back----you need to wipe that ice cream sandwich off your fingers---well you get the picture!  It's really amazing---I have the entire "Food Pyramid" as well as fluids from almost every orifice of the body on these two garments.  

It's so amazing that I am thinking about applying for a patent--immediately after finishing the wash!



LESSON #1---When driving in the city---DO NOT---I REPEAT DO NOT---unless absolutely necessary get on ANY interstate around 5 in the afternoon---and I am assuming 7 in the morning!

Lesson was learned today when I arrived in the "Mid Cities" area a few minutes after five.  I will say the traffic never stopped---if you consider 10 MPH still moving.  It's the strangest thing---I have seen this over and over---all traffic is at a virtual standstill---bumper to bumper--creeping along for miles---ALL of a sudden things pick up and you are all speeding down the highway at 70 again.  WHAT CAUSED THE STAND STILL?   You never spot anything---there is no merging traffic that you see---for some unexplained reason---it just came to a stand still.

SO---I brilliantly timed my entry into the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex at the WRONG time today!!!  Lesson learned!

ONE OTHER THING---when there is a sign that says 


Obviously that only applies to cars with out of state license tags---EVERYONE from Texas seems to ignore that "Law"   or perhaps it is just a suggestion.  YES---we don't have traffic laws in Texas---only traffic suggestions!


If you hear a rumor that I was seen in R---tonight or tomorrow---IT MIGHT JUST BE TRUE!  Flying trip from TX---arriving around 7----Working tomorrow and then back to TX.  The "Littlest Man", who is growing but still a "Sleepy Baby" went to the doctor's office today for a little check up.  Could I just tell you how much things have changed since my little ones were going to the pediatrician?  NO sticks to check for bilirubin levels---they have this scanner thing they just hold against their head.  FASCINATING!

SO--the good thing about this flying trip----NO COUCH FOR ME TONIGHT--I'll be in my wonderful bed!  


As Christmas draws to a close and the house is quiet for the first time today---I have stopped to remember the empty space in our lives that most of us have today---once filled by another.  I have stopped and prayed many times today for my sweet friends that are acutely aware of the emptiness and asked that God would fill that void with sweet memories of the years that space was filled with love and joy.

One of the facts of life is that we all will lose someone dear to us---if we stay around long enough--and the longer you are here in this world--the greater the chance that you will lose those that are dear to you.  I have no answer except the promise of eternity. 

I have decided that it is better to have loved and lost---than to have never have loved.  Grief is painful---but the joy of having loved ones in our lives is well worth the pain we must endure when they leave.

SO  ---there are empty spaces in my life---quite a few--but I am who I am because of the love I have shared with those that are now gone.  As the wind moans mournfully outside my window---I look to God and thank Him for the gift of loving others--those present and those that have left.  He is teaching me---giving me a glimpse of how important I am to Him and the promise that there will never be an empty space with Him--He will be with me always.

A Final Merry Christmas & Happy Christmas Memories of Today and Yesterday!


What better Christmas gift than another grandson?  It has been especially sweet this Christmas!  To see Henry jump up and down and clap when he opened the helicopter from his "Memmaw & Dude" was pure joy.  We have played and eaten and enjoyed each other's companionship today.  Uncle Gabe is here--so the boys have another playmate--the extra set of hands has helped and then the Jennings came over and the fun really began!  It has been a good day and I am looking forward to tomorrow as another day filled with "Making Memories".  It is never work---but only joy when you serve those that you love.

I am especially thankful for the gift that God gave us all those years ago----the gift than was promised before time began---our redemptive gift.  We are celebrating with birthday cake tomorrow---

"Happy Birthday, Sweet Jesus!"  Another gift more precious than gold--that all began with a baby entering the world!



Get up early---with some little one asking are "Lulu are you up?" or another calling "LULU LULU"---day full of activity--don't stop--cook, eat, clean, wash-eat-play--rock---IT'S ALL GOOD!  

FALL in the bed at the end of the day---IT'S ALL JOY!


LONG FULL DAY---but I must stop to brag.  I think you all know that I don't usually brag on my wonderful family---but I must tell you about #1 daughter -who is #1 Mother to her 3 sons.  It is AMAZING to behold!  I am continually amazed at her patience---love and mothering skills.  Think about it---you have a 3 1/2 year old, a 2 year old and now a newborn.  She has not blinked an eye--just taken to this latest addition like it is NO BIG DEAL!  Makes me tired to think about it and tired to be doing the part I am to help!

WELL this day started at 5:30 with a major house cleaning, grocery shopping, garage and porch cleaning--cooking supper--washing another mountain of laundry--rocking --playing---reading to ---this sweet family.  I am POOPED and guess what---I get to do it all again--tomorrow---BLESSED!


EVERYTHING IS BIGGER AND BETTER IN TEXAS!!!  The wind blew So hard last night that I couldn't sleep----BIG EMPTY HOUSE---with the sound of a wind that could blow the shingles off the roof ALL NIGHT LONG!

I spent the day with Sweet Baby Collin--who seems to be beginning to wake up--found his voice today!  He is a sweet--precious--tiny baby---we don't quite know how to act when they aren't half grown when they get here.  LOTS of visitors---LONG DAY---AND they are headed home tomorrow---getting all ready for the Jennings Family of Five to be "At Home".

It will be BUSY---but that's better than this empty house tonight!  I will not have time to turn around---just what I love!


Grandson # 5 is HERE!  7 lb-9 ou  which is a shrimp in the "James World".  He is "His Own Man"---don't really see anything that says---"I look just like"---yet.  He is snoozing away! Babies born early tend to be that way.  So after naps==well #3 refused to take a nap---but #4 took a brief 1 hour 20 min snooze---I took the boys to meet baby brother---# 3 gave him a brief nod and a short nod---# 4--TOTALLY IGNORED HIM!  He has GOT IT FIGURED OUT--this baby MEANS TROUBLE!

NOT while Lulu is here though!

God continues to teach me lessons in extending mercy and grace to others.  My Godly friend, Brother David, told me, "It's not about how you feel or how you've been treated, but it is about how we are commanded to act."

JUST WANT TO WARN YOU PEOPLE--I am praying for a little reprieve from God's lessons and asking Him to look around---I am CERTAIN someone else needs some attention!


Events come along in life that cause a loss of our status or position in life---many times these happenings are totally out of our control.  I rocked #4 before bed time tonight---he is a sweet cuddle bunny!  This will be his last night as the baby of his family and the baby of my grands.  #5 will make his grand entrance tomorrow and become the "New Baby".  Something tells me that #4 is NOT going to be happy!

What makes my day----when I go into another room and #4 walks around the house saying "Where Lulu?"  AWWWW---I'm a sucker for that kind of treatment!

SO it's been a LONG day since 4:15--a busy but good day and tomorrow my blessings will increase.  Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!


In case you missed the news flash---today is my birthday!  It has been a good day---a great day---so WHAT made it such a great day?

A good brisk 5 mile walk with good friends with lots of conversation

A good day at work--using the brain and talents that God gifted me with--enjoying the relationships of 3 new friends that I would have never met without my business

A great visit with a sweet friend after work--where we laughed and laughed---and told secrets---on ourselves and laughed some more

Dinner with my sweet "big" brother and my saintly sister in law (stars in her crown for putting up with "the brother")---more good conversation--laughter-- and fun

Hearing from "My 3 children and my favorite DIL who all called with birthday wishes"

Talking to my 4 grandsons  who all had sweet birthday wishes and even a 3 year old version of Happy Birthday ---the only one that sang to me today--
"Happy Birfday, Dear YuYu" (can't get those l's out)

MANY wonderful birthday wishes from countless friends--texts, calls, emails, cards, and facebook messages.

The reminder once again of how truly blessed I am---it's the simple things in life that make me happy---the relationships---that is what is most important.

SO--early to bed---VERY early rising----THANK YOU ALL for making it a Blessed Day!  Love you more than I could ever say!


Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the momentous occasion---64 years ago that began the trip down this road that I call life.  What do I treasure most about the trip down the road?----ALL THE LAUGHTER!  

Last night---when not exactly in a good place---my sweet friend started messaging me---from 10 PM until midnight we messaged and laughed---I am cracking up sitting here all by myself!  She has a WILD imagination and a way with words!

Today at lunch after a rather somber service in light of Friday's events and a fun time teaching the 3 year old class---INCLUDING a dancing session---I lunched with two friends.  We laughed and laughed---I must admit slightly at the expense of another---BUT HEY--what they don't know will not hurt them!

What a wonderful gift---laughter----I have spent many hours laughing with others---MANY MANY loved ones---If they could JUST bottle it---it would be the medicine that cures it all.

SO I am going to be another year older---BIG DEAL----I feel young---I still act --and play young---I AM as young as I think!  It's NOTHING but a number--Would not change most of it---but even the part I would change--it has made me who I am---I AM A BLESSED DAUGHTER OF THE KING!  HE LOVES ME BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS!  



I have spent a lot of time today thinking of the MANY families that are reeling in the utter despair of profound---unspeakable heartbreak tonight.  How do you move past this heartbreak---how do you return to normal?

You don't--life will never be the same--the tidal wave of grief will wash over you over and over for a LONG TIME---and then there will be the waves--continuous never ending waves of memory, sorrow, and loss.  There will come a time when you can finally smile and laugh at fond memories of what was and it will get easier---but there will forever be that huge sink hole void created by your loss.

What good could possibly come from your loss---what possible good could ever come from what man intended for evil?  The realization that God does love you---that even though He knew before it happened that it would---He still loves you beyond your wildest imagination.  That there can be eternal consequences for His glory for the unspeakable horror you are enduring.

SO---there are no good words---no good explanation---you have to hold onto the eternal truth that God is all wise--all knowing---all loving---and HE knows your pain---His son has experienced all the anguish and pain we will ever know and HE is our advocate to The Father.  May Jesus be the balm in the days to come to the many---in Connecticut and in many other places for the great gulf of pain and despair endured each and every day.  I pray that He will be your answer to how to make the next step and live the next day---He is the only answer.


One of the things I have told myself over and over---is there are worse things than where I find myself.

The most horrible thing I can imagine is losing one of my children.  I am praying---but I have no words for the place the CT parents that lost their babies are tonight.  My silence is appropriate.


On the Twelfth Day of Christmas---
My Christmas Elves Brought to me---

12 pieces of fruit
11 Candy Canes
10 Fresh Eggs
9 Chews of Gum
8 Christmas Cookies
7 Red Apples
6 Cans of Pop

5 Debbie Cakes

4 Rolls of Tissue
3 Boxes of Jello
2 Rolls of Tape


My Sweet Bennett Elves!


I spent the day trying to finish getting ready for my trip West next week----but in the back of my mind---I KNOW that today is the 12th day---the last day---Would the Elves reveal themselves---Would it remain a mystery?

Not long after dark and after all the Christmas lights had automatically come on---the doorbell rings.  THERE ARE THE ELVES---AN ENTIRE FAMILY OF THEM!

They came in---I gushed---they gushed over the decorations---we visited and they brought the last of the Elf Gifts:

A wonderful bowl of fruit with this Rhyme attached:

"On the twelfth day of Christmas Twelve fruits you'll find in here,

Sent with love and the hope we've brought a touch of cheer.

And as a final note we add, 'Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.' "

I was totally surprised---I had suspected someone from church, but I must admit had NOT considered this family--after all they are BUSY PEOPLE!

That made it even more special!

Merry Christmas ---Chris, Tracy, Manning, Max & Myles Bennett-----YOU MADE MY CHRISTMAS!


I find myself a little sad tonight----ONLY ONE MORE DAY----I have SO loved the Elf/Elves coming!  I haven't had this much fun at Christmas in a LONG LONG TIME!  

SO--I may and may not know the identity of my Secret Elf/Elves---BUT they have made my Christmas brighter & happier---I am BLESSED and grateful!

Today when I got home from 2 JOBS---my package was by the front door.  It's the first thing I look for when I come home!

Here's my rhyme:

"On the eleventh day of Christmas it was hard to choose

But by giving you Eleven candy canes, we felt we could not lose."

AWWWW!!!----It's the little things that mean SO much!


I posted TOO quick---I lacked faith----


AND---WAS BRAZEN AND BRAVE----RANG THE DOORBELL---when I finally managed to get to the door---they had disappeared---AS IF----they were swept away by FLYING REINDEER!!!!

Today's Missive:

"On the tenth day of Christmas,Ten  (marked out with a 12 written in and a  :)  ) eggs (not quite a dozen)

To scramble, fry, or use in baking or any way that you love them."

TWO MORE FUN DAYS----I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow!


I went to work today---keeping "The Boys" straight is my task on most Monday's.  I am training a replacement---this job will soon be over!  Eagerly drove home---today is DAY 10---couldn't wait to get home and see what the elf/elves brought today-

  There was no poem---there was no rhyme
   No Christmas at home---but WAIT there is still time!

SHOULD I BE CONCERNED??  What happened to my elf---we were on the downhill slide---SUCH FUN---WHERE OH WHERE IS MY ELF???

I am NOT GOING TO PANIC---Elf/Elves have 6 more hours before the day is done---BUT I AM nearing the panic button!!!


WELL---in an interesting turn of events---today the elf/elves did NOT bring something with the count of 9---INTERESTING!

I made my usual Sunday rounds---left for early services, taught the 3 year old class where the answer is ALWAYS   "JESUS"---had lunch with friends---

I came home to find the cutest cloth Christmas bag with a beautiful net bow (NOW DOESN'T ALL THIS SOUND LIKE A FEMALE?)

Here is today's rhyme:

"On the ninth day of Christmas we know you're on the run. (MUST KNOW MY Sunday Schedule)

So we want you to stop, relax, and have a chew of gum."

Inside the bag was a Christmas pack of gum.

HUMMM---no longer counting the number of items,  still a we,  knows my schedule---


SO in a surprise turn of events---the elf/elves came early last night while I was out for dinner with sweet Sheila and Rob, AND left a hand written note on the rhyme  (Early 8th Day).  VERY neat hand writing---so I thinking probably a female---NOT that my male friends are not neat printers--just not usually.

The Elf/Elves must be busy today---as I am also---but before I begin whirling about---here is the rhyme:

"On the eight day of Christmas we're nearly out of rhyme

But here's Eight nice cookies to enhance your Christmas time."

AWESOME---a tin with eight chocolate chip cookies.  SO appropriate---I logged 8 miles this AM--SO I will eat the 8 cookies for breakfast--after all they do contain all the required foods---eggs, flour, AND CHOCOLATE!


Once again---the elf/elves managed to leave a package while I was home----SNEAKY!

"For the seventh day of Christmas we wondered what to do,

But then we found these apples and we're giving them to you."

I am baffled---BUT I have loved everyday of the 12 days of Christmas so far---something to look forward to--each and every day!


JUST as I thought I had a grasp on maybe who the elf/elves might be---

I came home to today's gift:

"On the sixth day of Christmas with six more left to go,

Take time to trim the Christmas tree and hang some mistletoe.

We're sure by now you need a break to have a nice cold drink.

Six cans of pop is sure to help, at least that's what we think!"

SO it's still a     "WE"

BUT if you know me well---you KNOW my drink of choice is a 


BUT maybe they were going for the Christmas Can that Coca Cola has?


I SO look forward to coming home every day to see my surprise and spend time thinking about the "WHO is the Mystery Elf/Elves?"


Today's visit from the Elf came with a HINT!

"On the fifth day of Christmas Five treats of sugar sweet

We hope you will enjoy the taste that can't be beat!"

MY emphasis on WE----it's more than ONE!!!!

HUMMM--the plot thickens!

WAIT---what did you say?

You want to know what treats The Elf/Elves brought?

WHY A five pack of Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes OF COURSE!

In an effort to explore for MORE CLUES---I will eat all 5 tonight--JUST IN CASE there is something hidden in their middle!


I was at home working on a project until around 11--when I left to go to a client's office.  SO---Elf doesn't know my schedule after all (who does but me?)---BUT managed to make an appearance and leave a package in the garage without me hearing a thing!  S N E A K Y!

Today's message & package--

"It's the fourth day of Christmas and I bet you thought we'd miss you.
We didn't though and here you have Four rolls of bathroom tissue."

CRACK ME UP----on top of my car with the garage door open is a 4 pack of 
"Angel Soft" toilet tissue.

SO NOW I am GOOD TO GO--when it comes to "Wiping with a cloud"!

This is the MOST FUN since I played Santa LONG AGO!


LONG day at work---come home with your brain not fried--but crisp around the edges----AND GUESS WHAT----


Today's package---

"On the third day of Christmas, Three packages of Jello---
The light dessert, the bright dessert, red, green, and yellow!

I'm OFF to have a Jello Party-----PARTY DOWN!

Bless you, Christmas Elf---the highlight of my day!!!!!


The Christmas Elf arrived again----well it's someone that appears to know my habits.  I leave for church at 8:50---attend the early service, teach the 3 year old class (MY people) and out to lunch---almost EVERY Sunday without fail.  Sometime during this period, a package was left by my garage door.  Today's message:

On the second day of Christmas, Two rolls of sticky tape
To help you wrap your Christmas gifts for that extra special date!

Two different people claimed to be "The Elf" at church today--so someone does read my blog----BUT then they laughed and said, "No it's not me".  I am narrowing down the field!


The three year old little people are beginning to catch on----today---ANY question you asked them--they answered--


That answer is ALWAYS correct!


I've been at my home---all day today---running tomorrow---SO I had a visit from a "Christmas Elf".  Cannot figure out how this happened and I didn't know someone was here---UNLESS it was while I was in the backyard picking off frost bitten leaves from my jasmine---one at a time (Carol of the OCD).

I had the nicest surprise when I went out my backdoor to get the mail.  There was a foil wrapped package with a bow and a tag.  The tag reads:

"The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas I've often heard it said

It's nice to give someone you love a loaf of homemade bread."

AWWW---someone does love me!  I am thinking through who could have been so sweet---has to be a baker---that narrows down the field---AND of course someone that loves me---What's more important.

SO----Little Elf----THANK YOU---for helping me remember what Christmas is all about!