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Archive for December, 2006

Confession

I have a confession to make. 

I really enjoy the holiday movies on the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime.  I really, really do. Not the Lifetime movies about abuse or abandonment or tragedy. The "holiday" romance movies.  The Christmas "feel-good" movies where boy and girl get together at the end or a new family is created by the miracle power of the season.  I could watch those movies all the time if they could keep up with production.  It feeds the optimist in me. 

I’ve been leary about confessing this before but tonight I’m coming clean …

My name is Melissa and I watch Lifetime/Hallmark movies.

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Friday Five: Holiday Food

1. Favorite cookie/candy/baked good without which, it’s just not Christmas.

My mother’s Mamie Eisenhower Christmas cookies. Iced, decorated and waiting for me each year.  Can’t have Christmas without them.

2. Do you do a fancy dinner on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, both, or neither? (Optional: with whom will you gather around the table this year?)

My family gathers on Christmas Day for a nice meal – nothing fancy, smancy.  That isn’t us but definitely good eats and great company at my parent’s home.

3. Evaluate one or more of the holiday beverage trifecta: hot chocolate, wassail, egg nog.

Hot chocolate =  teenagers
Wassail = no clue
Egg nog = drinkable paint

4. Candy canes: do you like all the new-fangled flavors or are you a peppermint purist?

Peppermint purist

5. Have you ever actually had figgy pudding? And is it really so good that people will refuse to leave until they are served it?

Never had figgy pudding. And if it makes people refuse to leave, I will never serve it. 🙂

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Friday Five: Yuletide Thoughts

For this mid-December Friday Five, let’s explore some Yuletide favorites.

1) It’s a Wonderful Life–Is it? Do you remember seeing it for the first time?

Okay, I know this admission will make me seem very unAmerican or inhumane or something but I have not actually seen "It’s a Wonderful Life".  I’m sure "It’s a Wonderful Movie" but I’ve just never seen it.  Sad, I know, but true.

Mara20wilson20 2) Miracle on 34th Street–old version or new?

Hmmmm ….  I’d say the new one for two reasons. One – I know I saw the old version but I can’t really remember much about it.  and Two – The little girl in the new version is so adorable.  How can you not love her?

3) Do you have a favorite incarnation of Mr. Scrooge?

Yes, but since I want a Christmas future here at my place of employment, I will refrain from mentioning names.

4) Why should it be a problem for an elf to be a dentist? I’ve been watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for years now, and I still don’t get it.

I think the issue might be a weird paranoia among patients that elfs are tiny enough to actually fall into the mouth during the procedure since your jaw is opened to an abnormally large and uncomfortable size.

5) Who’s the scariest character in Christmas specials/movies?

  • The Bumble
  • The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Muppet Version
  • That Mean Magician Who Tries to Melt Frosty
  • Your Nomination:
  • I nominate King Herod. He’s very scary. I don’t care who plays him.

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Puppy Ownership

In a very ironic turn of events, I own a puppy.  (Don’t freak out, Mom and Dad.) I technically own the puppy but I don’t possess the puppy.  Long story….. ready?

Monday one of my youth boys calls me and tells me he and some friends are at the local animal shelter.  He is adopting a puppy for his girlfriend but he is only 16 so he can’t legally adopt an animal.  He needs someone 18 or older.  So he calls me….  I ask a few questions.  You know … things like…. does she know?  Do her parents know?  Do your parents know?  Etc.  I got satsifactory answers so I drove down to the shelter to meet him, two friends and his girlfriend’s sister.  We explain to the staff who I am and that I’m legal and what they are doing and proceed to the kennel area where the dogs are kept. 

Now its been a good four years since I was last here.  The last time I entered the shelter was the time that I adopted a dog in very poor judgment. I left with a beagle named Muffin and had my dad return her four days later.  I was not ready for that level of commitment.  It really wasn’t fair to her…. I was never home and she was lonely.  I just didn’t think it through well enough.

So, now, I’m back with four eager teenagers and stuck between trying to not rain on their parade and be the lone, rational adult that speaks reason to those who don’t understand reason.  Lots of questions later, a few phone calls to assure parents are okay and aware of what is happening, I’m filling out paperwork to adopt the dog in my name for the moment and then I can give the dog away as a gift and the name can be changed to the "receiver" after the dog is fixed.  It wasn’t until after the signing, the money exchange and some other clarifications that it was mentioned that the puppy could not be fixed until after April due to her young age.  So . . . in legalese, I own a 8-week black labrador retriever until April.  As we left the shelter, I felt a strange sense of abandonment as "Belle" went with her new family.  I hope she understands one day that it was for her own good.  That the family she was going to would be better for her. They had a farm, two other dogs, children that loved dogs, a basic IQ in doggie-care . . . all things I did not have to offer her.

It has been two days now and I’ve not received angry calls from any parents and no calls from the police about animal neglect.  Youth ministry can be a very risky job sometimes…

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Weddings and Such

Saturday I officiated at my third wedding.  The wedding of two good friends.  The wedding of one faithful blog reader.  So, Preston, here it is for you:  Congratulations, dear friend!  Thank you for allowing me to share in you and Amy’s special day.  It was a honor and a pleasure to be there for the both of you.  And thanks for taking my jabs with such good nature. 🙂  You know its cuz I love ya!

Despite our near blizzard here in Missouri, the wedding occurred with little disruption.  The key players made it in and the ceremony was beautiful.  It was a Christmas theme so the snow made it absolutely perfect.  A true winter wonderland.

I really enjoy officiating at weddings.  I enjoy the premarital counseling, the ceremony, the participation in such a memorable event.  It is truly on those occasions standing before God, the couple and the gathering of friends and family that I know I am in the right place.  It feels right to stand and be a visible and audible testimony for God’s presence.  For this wedding especially because I wore a clergy robe for the very first time.  It is rarely seen in Baptist traditions but the couple asked me to wear one and I was glad to do it.  I borrowed a beautiful robe from my friend and co-minister, Jeanie.   When I put it on and looked in the mirror, I was humbled and so moved to be wearing such a symbol.  I do not take lightly my calling to pastor.  Standing before the couple and guiding them as they exchange vows, I do not doubt my calling to pastor.  I feel at home.  It feels right.  I feel peace.

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Winter is Here!

Winter came last night with a grand entrance.  We woke up to 12 – 14 inches of snow. Just two days ago we were enjoying rare 70 degree temps.  Now, we are bundled up like Randy from A Christmas Story.  I spent 3 hours shoveling my sidewalk and driveway.  Still a good chunk of ice on part of it where the sun doesn’t shine but for the most part it works.

Here are some pictures of the house this morning. The snow is absolutely gorgeous! It is definitely a winter wonderland.

Christmas_pictures_and_first_snow_014Christmas_pictures_and_first_snow_011 

Christmas_pictures_and_first_snow_022

I had to go out late afternoon and evening for a wedding rehearsal.  Tomorrow I officiate the wedding of my friends, Preston and Amy.  They are just positive folks who are taking this whole weather thing with great attitudes. Some would let the fact that roads are closed and airports are shut down ruin their special day. Almost everyone managed to make it in tonight except for two of the groomsmen.  They should be here tomorrow.  The dinner and rehearsal went fine.  The roads weren’t so great but my jeep handled them well. 

So it is a beautiful winter wonderland here in Missouri.  The most snow we’ve had in years – many, many years.  It is an unusual sabbath where the whole city has been shut down.  May we take the time to experience a true sabbath in the gift of this snowstorm.

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